Charity begins at home to help those overseas
Emmaus communities and groups across the UK held special ‘solidarity sales’ on Saturday 17 May 2014 with all proceeds going to support Emmaus projects across the globe.
Emmaus believes that the concept of solidarity - or giving to others who are more in need than yourself - is intrinsic to its success.
As part of an international movement which has 337 members in 37 countries, we often look to our groups overseas to see what help can be offered.
Companion Andy Jones, who moved to Emmaus Leeds after a relationship breakdown, explains what solidarity means to him: “Many people who come to live in Emmaus communities have had a hard time. We have all lost our homes and often companions have struggled with mental health issues, financial problems or addictions.
“But solidarity work reminds us that there are people suffering all over the world. I feel that if I can do something to help others, to give a little bit back, then it really takes my mind off my own troubles. It also gives me that warm glow that comes from the knowledge that I am doing something that will really help someone else.”
Emmaus groups can be found across America, Europe, Africa and India and in 2012-2013, the movement raised nearly 500,000 Euros for a wide range of projects. These included building classrooms in Burkina Faso, supporting those affected by human trafficking in Lithuania and fixing homes damaged by hurricanes in India.
Helen Jago, community leader at Emmaus Village Carlton in Bedfordshire, said: “One of the conditions of Emmaus membership is that every community across the world must raise money through solidarity. This even includes the poorest communities in Africa.
“Although this may seem counterintuitive, we believe that working together to help each other is valuable in itself. However, we can’t raise funds without holding solidarity sales and other events – so we need as many people to come along as possible and grab some wonderful bargains to brighten up their homes and gardens.”
Staff and companions from Emmaus communities across the UK also volunteered nearly 4500 hours of their own time to help local people and other good causes, over the last year. The following communities and groups are holding sales: Bolton, Bristol, Cambridge, Colchester, Coventry, Glasgow, Greenwich, Hull, Lambeth, Leeds, Leicestershire & Rutland, Mossley, Norwich, Oxford, Preston, Salford, South Wales, St Albans, St Martins and Village Carlton.
To find out the address of your local superstore, just check our your local Emmaus pages.
If you haven't got time to get to a sale, you can still donate by texting EMUK14 £3 to 70070, or by going to our donations page.