Updated 28/3/12 - see bottom of post.
This is a remarkable young lady, and I am going to ask you to put your hand in your pocket to help her achieve an ambition to help other people.
Her name is Amy Kirkwood and she lives in the Republic. I know her well. She is a shining example of what Scottish youth should be. I think you should know a bit more about her, about what she wants to do, and how you can help her...
Amy has a quite remarkably generous and giving nature and has always wanted to work with and help children. To that end she is currently a second year student at the International Christian College in Glasgow, studying Theology and Childrens' Ministry. As well as that she runs a youth club in Stonehouse and is a qualified Brownie leader in Strathaven. She also works in an after-school club and occasionally at a nursery.
In 2010 Amy was honoured with a Diana Award, the only Gold Youth Achievement Award presented by South Lanarkshire Council that year and the Adam Law Memorial Shield from Adam's Community Trust in Strathaven. At the time she was a sixth-year student at Strathaven Academy, a prefect and a house vice-captain and had just started the Scripture Union club there, which her younger sister now runs. She also attends SU camps as a leader, is an accomplished Highland dancer and does sponsored 10K runs for charity.
All of this is very creditable, but becomes almost unbelievable when you learn that at age 13 she contracted a badly debilitating viral condition that caused her great pain and fatigue and continues to this day, and on arrival at College in 2009 was diagnosed as being severely dyslexic.
However, with the faith, idealism and enthusiasm of youth she is determined to do her bit to make the world a better place and she will spend the whole of the month of June working the Kitega orphanage in Uganda. Kitega is a Christian community that provides assistance to all kinds of needy children in their immediate area, many of them AIDS orphans or handicapped in some way.
Her flights have been paid for her and she is meeting most of her own expenses, but she needs to raise money to buy essential supplies that she will take with her. A generous baggage allowance from KLM means that she can take about 30Kg of stationery, toys, clothes, rechargable batteries, etc. with her at no extra cost.
An auction will be held this coming Saturday, the 24th, in the WRI hall in Gilmourton. It starts at 7:00pm and entry is £2.50 on the door, which includes tea/coffee and home baking. There is already a large selection of lots and I am sure that you will find something worth bidding on and carrying home with you, safe in the knowledge that your purchase has helped do some real good in the world.
There will be a report on the auction results here next week. Why not come along and as a special treat meet the President of the Republic too?
Some of Amy's press coverage:
East Kilbride News
Update 20/3/12 Fixxed sum speling errursmistaxe.
Update 28/3/12 Well, the turnout was a bit sparse but we still raised just over £400, due mainly to the sterling efforts of Hugh Campbell as auctioneer. Many thanks, Hugh.