Florence pictured with other members of the CAFOD group from Immaculate Conception Parish, Rotherham
10 year-old Florence from Rotherham has raised over £300 for the Catholic Aid charity CAFOD’s ‘World Gifts’ scheme. She spent the money on 2 goats and a piglet and hopes to buy even more from her sponsored school fun run in April.
She first got involved with the charity after hearing about ‘World Gifts’ during mass at the Parish of the Immaculate Conception last year. She quickly took interest and joined the parish’s CAFOD volunteer group, much to their delight, fast becoming a valuable member and a key parish volunteer.
She recalls, ‘the older people were so pleased that I wanted to join as not many children take interest in this sort of thing. They let me speak at my parish twice about the CAFOD Lenten appeal this month as I thought the parish would listen to someone younger like me. It is totally different to what most of my friends do at the weekend and is a great chance for me to help those in poverty.’
Anne Prior, CAFOD’s representative for Hallam, said ‘Florence has been like a breath of fresh air to our work in the Hallam Diocese. She spoke to a group of 40 volunteers at our Lent preparation meeting and told us her inspiring story.’
As well as volunteering in her parish, she also self-started a number of fundraising events at her primary school, organising a raffle for the names of the animals she intended to buy and setting up a donation instead of a Christmas card exchange last December.
‘A lot of my friends were confused as to why they couldn’t give out Christmas cards’ she goes on, ‘but the teachers and some of the older students understood why I was doing this and were really impressed with my ideas. I now have my own board at school where I can update everyone on my fundraising and what animals I hope to buy next.’
Florence has also organised a sponsored student fun run at her school to take place the week commencing the 19th of April where she hopes to raise even more money for another gift.
‘We all have so much stuff at home we don’t need, and these people in the poorest communities have nothing. This is what I want to change. If I can get them a goat or a football that would make all the difference to their lives, then why not?’
If you are interested in becoming a CAFOD parish volunteer, please email Anne Prior firstname.lastname@example.org or would like more information on World Gifts http://worldgifts.cafod.org.uk/