Can't believe this is the first clear head space I've had in weeks to come chat with you.
Between being unwell, managing the Aussie stand at the International Charity Bazaar, G being sick, my back going out, starting to plan the Annual Charity Bazaar for IWCD, MissM being sick, it's been a tad busy around here. I've had oodles of chats running around my head, but not the patience to sit at the laptop and write.
Plus, don't know about you, but the older I get (or maybe the longer we're living away from Sydney) the more stressed I get in November/December by things like the perfect gift (yeah yeah there is no such thing), or writing Xmas cards neatly so people can read them, or making the post to Australia in time to be guaranteed delivery before Xmas.
The weeks are flying by. MissM only started back at school a 'few weeks ago' and in two weeks will have finished first term of grade 4 ........ when she goes back in January, she's on countdown to May when she's finished school for the year and on 3 months summer holidays!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With midterm breaks, and a few Bank Holidays thrown in it will be here before we know it.
It's only 19 sleeps til Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Our second Christmas in Ireland - where the heck did those 12 months go??????????????????????
I'm delighted to have been asked by our President to head up the team again this year, as our chosen charity is the one I nominated, Special Needs Parents Association, chaired by my best friend, MrsD. It's also a lot of fun!
The team comprises of ladies who have done numerous Bazaars and just know what to do and a few new members who are keen to be involved. LOVE new members who throw themselves into things like this. It's a great way to immerse yourself in your new community, make friends.
Newbies have energy and ideas!
Imagine if expat women arrived with a CV so that their new community could see what skills and experience you bring to the group and how best to harness them.
We've lawyers, and accountants, solicitors, doctors, authors, teachers, marketing specialists, business owners, administrators, graphic designers, musicians, artists, chefs, IT specialists and more amongst us! Sadly, most of us aren't able to work for all sorts of reasons, Visa's mainly, or the country we live in won't recognise qualifications, or retraining is required.
It's important then that we keep things like LinkedIn up to date, as we can't rock on up to our kids school with our CV in hand and ask for a role in the Parents Association; or the local International Womens' Club. I'm amazed at WHO has checked out my LinkedIn page!!!!! G's colleagues - why? A few recruiters (how funny), new friends (checking me out I guess) amongst others.
Our skills for simply moving our families around the world and settling in are worthy of mention - organisational skills, planning, administration ability, research, conflict resolution, sales to name but a few.
Our team has been inundated with support from local businesses, and we have a lovely group of vendors selling very upmarket products.
In turn, they together with local businesses (butchers, hairdressers, party venues, restaurants etc) have donated an incredible amount of prizes for our raffle.
IWCD members are busy baking for our Cake'n'Cookie stall, while others are clearing out cupboards for the Bric'A'Brac and Books tables.
It's amazing what nominated the SPNA has done - the outpouring of support has been a wee bit overwhelming.
One member has offered to host a Night of Song as a fundraiser while another, a fashion parade.
It seems that many people respect and appreciate just how difficult it is to be a parent of a special needs child in Ireland - sadly the current government is cutting services and pensions, and medical cards all in the name of balancing the budget. The parents are usually the full time carers/therapists/co ordinators of doctors appointments etc.
The Bazaar team works hard every year for a successful event as every charity we support is important and needs the funds.
I never envisaged my advertising/marketing and organisational skills would end up being used for fundraising. It's very rewarding on so many levels.
I'm so excited for our even to happen so we can realise how much money we raised ...... we won't hand over the cheque til June 2015 as we've at least two more events planned.
Whatever amount we raise will be very happily received, as SNPA is 100% volunteer based, and those who are volunteering are parents of kids with special needs - they who have the least amount of time to give, are giving in abundance.
Do you volunteer?
What was the last fundraiser you were involved in?
What was your role?