Carrick ‘Tree of Hope’ brings festive charity cheer

Collectors at The Tree of Hope, Mary Sinnamon, Rotary Club of Carrickfergus and Sharon Seaton, Abbey Insurance. INCT 51-758-CON
Collectors at The Tree of Hope, Mary Sinnamon, Rotary Club of Carrickfergus and Sharon Seaton, Abbey Insurance. INCT 51-758-CON

Carrickfergus Rotary Club’s annual ‘Tree of Hope’ charity fundraising effort is drawing to another successful conclusion this week.

Since earlier this month, collectors have been on duty at the familiar festive feature sited at the entrance to the Tesco store.

Members of the public have been making donations to purchase a ribbon to decorate the tree at the Minorca Place retail outlet.

The proceeds this year will support three organisations: Action Cancer, Children’s Hospice and Diabetes UK.

As well as a generous response from the public, the initiative also attracts the support of the community.

Carrickfergus Rotary Club engages other groups and individuals to help man the tree and collect over the period it is in situ.

Club president Brenda Houston, who compiles the rota of collectors, has this year elicited support from the following:

Carrickfergus Men’s Probus Club,

Carrickfergus Action Cancer Support Group,

Carrickfergus Children’s Hospice Support Group,

Abbey Insurance,

Downshire School Interact Club.

Their ranks were further swollen by individual volunteers from the community and family and friends of Rotarians.

The organisers see it is an extremely worthwhile venture because in the past six years the Tree of Hope has raised just short of £68,000 for local charities.

Those on duty at the tree comment on the generosity of shoppers and on the moving personal stories of many of the givers who have been affected by cancer or diabetes or who have had experience of the excellent care of Children’s Hospice.

One collector commented: “The weather might be cold but it is a privilege and a heart warming experience to meet the givers and hear their stories.”

Carrickfergus Rotary Club extended thanks all those who helped at the tree, the store’s management for accommodating it and especially all those generous members of the public who bought a ribbon.