“Lanzarote Online Charity Shop ” is a virtual shop set up as a group on Facebook and it has nearly 1,500 members at the time of publishing (February 2021). I have been a member myself since practically the beginning and I got myself some pretty good bargains, especially! I had a chat with Kirsty Dollery about the shop and the charity work they support.

How did Lanzarote Online Charity Shop start?
It started in April 2019. I witnessed a young lady who was very down on her luck and had no home or money. I was distressed at what I had seen, so decided to do something about it. I went home and wracked my brains as to what I could do. I thought I could try and sell some of my clothes online to help raise some funds for her and other people I had come across. After selling my clothes, I decided to put a plea out on Facebook to ask for any unwanted clothes to sell to raise funds for people in need. Donations started coming in, and I was raising funds to help those that needed helping. I never in my wildest dreams expected people to be so generous, so therefore I created the group.

Who is behind the group?
Myself and Dianne Crookes now run the group’s page. We have our collection and drop off points around the island:
-Mandy from Revolution Bikes in Puerto del Carmen
-The White Lion also in Puerto del Carmen
-Las Brisas Bar and Restaurant in Playa Blanca
– Kay Aitkenhead in Güime and
-Le Rendevouz in Costa Teguise
Without them we couldn’t raise as much as we are doing as we couldn’t distribute to so many people.

Tell us a bit more about you…
I moved to Lanzarote in 2017 from the UK wanting to live the dream, but what I saw shocked me. The site started to grow, so as I live in the North of the Island, I reached out for someone to join me in reaching further places.

Who do you raise money for?
I orginally started to raise funds for “Calor y Café” as they are very well known on the island, but a friend suggested to check out “Flora Acoge”. We had a meeting with them to see if we could collaborate, as they are less well known and offer so much for desperate people. We need people to realise that homelessness is an actual issue here on the Island. We decided that “Flora Acoge” needed to be recognised equally.

I must admit I had never heard of them. Who is “Flora Acoge” and what do they do?
“Flora Acoge” is a non-profit foundation that runs a “Social Inclusion” Program for people who are extremely vulnerable in society. They help to get people back on their feet. They also have a shelter which houses approximately 16 vulnerable people. The program’s purpose is the full integration of the person in society, through the advice, support and accompaniment of the multidisciplinary team; promoting and carrying out actions that favor and enhance the value of the dignity of the person in an integral way, until the achievement of their full autonomy. We donate ALL our proceeds to people in need and we donate to “Flora Acoge” monthly, and get a receipt. As soon as we have paid them, we put the total amount we have raised onto the charity shop’s page.

Very worthy cause indeed. Do you, as the online charity, accept donations?
Yes, we do. We accept item donations and money donations as well. They are always welcome at our drop off points listed above. People tend to give us their piggy banks full of change, which all adds up.

It certainly does. Any final words, Kirsty?
Since Covid, so many more people have been struggling, and because of all of our supporters, we can help ease some of their distress in supplying food, or clothes to those who need it most. There are very challenging times ahead, and people who need help, I urge them to come forward in the strictest of confidence. If the Lanzarote Online Charity Shop can help, then we will.

Thank you very much for your time, Kirsty, and for all your hard work helping those who need it the most.

Lanzarote Online Charity Shop: Facebook Group
“Flora Acoge”‘s website: https://floraacogefundacion.org/.

Read about other charities in Lanzarote.