Small Village, Big Heart

I went to a meeting this morning. A very special meeting. For some time now a group of village women have been meeting on a regular basis to knit blankets to be given to Syrian refugees. All of these have been Spanish women, but today's meeting was to encourage women from among the foreigners' population to get involved in a new venture of solidarity. The new initiative, Frigiliana Solidaria, has chosen two charities to support, both based in Málaga. One works to help young single mothers struggling to cope, especially financially; the other works with children, old people and others who find themselves socially excluded, or at risk of social exclusion. Our new group will be knitting to provide them not just with blankets for babies, children and adults, but also clothing items such as jumpers, cardigans, gloves, scarves, shawls and the like which will help people to keep warm across the winter months. In addition, soft toys will be knitted for the younger children. And also we appeal for clothing in good condition to be donated for distribution to those served by the two charities. Today's meeting followed a similar meeting about ten days ago to launch the project to Spanish women. Today though seven members of our expat population came to offer their participation, and at least five more who were unable to attend today have also expressed interest. A handbill is being prepared and we shall have a small stall at the weekly market next Thursday where we will hand out the fliers and answer questions.
But that is not all that the village does for others. December will see the annual Kilo Appeal. Despite the fact that the Spanish economy is recovering there are still very many families where unemployment and poverty is an issue. In December each year, those who have are invited to help those who don't by including in their grocery shopping an extra kilo of non-perishable food to donate for the provision of food parcels to help people at Christmas time.
Christmas is obviously a major celebration here in Spain, as in other countries. However, for the children Los Reyes, the coming of the Wise Men on January 6th is the day that they receive their presents - assuming that their parents can afford a visit, of course. So there is going to be another opportunity to demonstrate solidarity; it is planned to hold a toy service in the church which will be geared to the children, and the children will be asked to bring with them a toy or game which is still in good condition, but which they no longer play with, and these can then be found new homes on 6th January.
The 'Big Society' is alive and thriving in this small Spanish village!

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