Amovate Charity Donations—The President’s Response

 

charityThis item appeared on the Vale da Telha website on August 20 2014, referring to the poster advertising Amovate’s Charity Gala on Saturday September 20:

Seen ads for this event all referring to funds for ‘a well deserved charity’ – might be an idea to actually mention what the charity is! Just a thought.

While all the charities are deserved of help it seems that whenever a committee member or friend of falls ill etc their hospital/hospice etc etc suddenly gets a donation -I’m sure they deserve it but surely not the fair way to divi up limited funds. Again just a thought!

Will be interested to hear which charity and when/why it was chosen by amovate- I’m sure it will be a worthy one and all in VDTwill dig deep.”

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Amovate’s President has responded thus:

The “well-deserved cause” mentioned is Amovate’s charity fund, as the purpose of the organisation is to make charitable donations from the fund at the end of each year–our raison d’etre so to speak.

The fund benefits a number of charities and some events, like this one, are held to increase the total monies held in the fund prior to distribution.

Others are held to benefit a specific named charity, as was the case with the Family Fun Day and the Madrugada Charity which has helped several Vale da Telha residents currently and in the past—not all of them connected with Amovate.

This rather cavalier claim that we distribute the money to the charities that have benefitted “committee members or friends” is not just inaccurate, it is extremely unfair.

We should point out that in this rather small community pretty much everybody knows or has a passing acquaintance with everybody else and we do respond to any worthwhile charities drawn to our attention by anyone, including non-members—and in one case from a resident who was actively anti-Amovate at the time!

The final decision is then made from a committee that includes a number of respectable and responsible Portuguese residents including the local police commander, and all the details are reported to our members at the AGM, with the financial aspects scrutinised by an independent Fiscal Council, none of whom are Committee members.

For example, when the animal charity AEZA wrote to Amovate for a donation to their fence fund the letter was discussed by the committee and a cheque was issued, all within a matter of two or three days.

A large number of charitable causes have benefitted from Amovate’s cash distributions in recent years, and a wide spread of recipients have receive support through cash raised from activities that have also added greatly to the social life of Vale da Telha which, socially, was all but a barren desert before this committee began its work.

All of this has raised the profile of Aljezur and, more specifically, of Vale da Telha in a positive way. Since 2010 dozens of well-received articles about the area, many of them accompanied by photographs, have appeared in local and national newspapers and magazines, all of them written and placed by Amovate’s Public relations section; something which is much appreciated by the local Camara.

Through all of this, and the charitable donations, Vale da Telha has earned a reputation as a caring, considerate and thriving community.

In one instance which received extensive media coverage, an Amovate member needing orthopaedic treatment at Portimao Hospital for a broken leg learned that there were only a handful of serviceable wheelchairs in the department, some of which were held together by bandages.

She contacted us and we donated the funds to buy, and ship from the UK,  six standard wheelchairs (18-inch seat), 1 extra wide bariatric wheelchair (22-inch seat), 2 wheelchair commodes which can also be used over the toilet and 40 x flexible hot or cold koolpacks.

None of this directly benefitted either Cath or Amovate but at the time Portimão Hospital’s Orthopaedic Unit Director and Surgeon Dr Alvaro Botelho praised the people of Vale da Telha for the donation, telling the Portuguese and English-speaking media:

“It is difficult to put into words how much we not only appreciate, but rely on, the wonderful generosity of people like those who joined so enthusiastically in the fund-raising for these wheelchairs.

“Because of their generosity, we have received a wonderful gift that will help in a huge way both the patients of the orthopaedic ward and the professionals who take care of them.

“We are overwhelmed by this gift and everyone who contributed to it can be assured that these wheelchairs will be put to the best possible use and will be an everyday asset to the unit.”

Those wheelchairs are still in good order and are still being used for the benefit of patients at the hospital.

Over the years Amovate has given many charitable donations to causes totally unconnected with the association or even with members of the association

We supplied equipment for the baby unit and toys, plus a dvd player for the children’s ward, at Portimao Hospital at a cost of almost €1000.

We have handed over Christmas Gifts for the local schools, made donations to the St. Vincent de Paul Society (including a new washing machine bought from an Aljezur supplier), the cash to purchase a Ripple Bed to alleviate suffering, requested by a non-member, organised and orchestrated the donation of €50,000 worth of fire fighting and rescue equipmement to Aljezur Bombeiros which was instigated by an Amovate member who approached the Committee for help.

We make donations to BPI Bank for needy children, for the purchase of books to make sure that local children have at least one present to open at Christmas.

We made the donation of a new, state-of-the-art laptop for the use of nursing staff at the CMR Sul Rehabilitation Centre São Brás de Alporte, which has supported at least three residents of VdT – none of whom are or have ever been Amovate members, let alone connected to the Committee.

Recently we made that donation to the AEZA Dog Charity to assist with the cost of secure fencing around a field for exercising the dogs and a further donation to Madrugada Charity (yes, in support of an Amovate member).

And, of course, we have been deeply involved, along with the Quiz Group and numerous people across Vale da Telha and the surrounding areas, with the €4,500 purchase of Defibrillators, one for the use of residents of VdT and the other for the Bombeiros, a project instigated by an Amovate member who approached the Committee).

All of these activities and events were publicised and promoted solely by Amovate both here in Portugal and, on occasions in UK media, to ensure maximum exposure and Amovate’s committee members tirelessly work countless hours with no reward to ensure their success and smooth running.

We even arranged for a three-piece suite donated to us by an individual who has a holiday home here to be transported and handed over to the GNR for their rest room in the Police HQ!

We do appreciate and encourage suggestions and constructive criticism and we would ask anyone interested enough to offer such advice and criticism to do so from within the Amovate family.

As a member they will understand what Amovate does, they could help us continue the good works, and, who knows, they could even request a donation to their favourite charity!

 


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