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The A.W.F.U.L Philanthropists

By Patricia Hackshaw

Patricia Hackshaw, Volunteer
PAWASOL pour Ti Mamai, Saint Lucia

The time has come for the volunteers who ran PAWASOL to retire. This very successful children’s charity was run for 20 years by a group of energetic ladies who dedicated a great deal of their time to this very worthy cause. 

It was started in a very casual way by my very good friend Jane du Boulay. It evolved from a group of us who enjoyed walking. We called ourselves the A.W.F.U.L.s, (Association of Walking Females Usually Lunching). We did many many walks far and wide, even traveling to UK and Europe on four occasions. 

It was soon realized that a more organized approach had to be taken. Meetings were held and a committee was formed with three ladies, Jane, Susan Allamby and Elizabeth Glace who were voted in to basically run the show. The rest of us volunteers were Santa’s little elves as it were. From here,in the year 2000, PAWASOL was born and became an official registered charity in 2007.
Many activities were organised for fundraising and many donations were received from generous companies, hotels and caring individuals. 

There were minor and major fundraiser events that kept the coffers flowing. We did everything from Tom Bolers, sponsored walks to major shows. Tickets sold out every time, especially for the yearly quiz at Razmataz Restaurant. The owner, Susan Wright and her staff all donated their time for this very successful annual event. For all the events we ran everything was generously donated and all monies went to PAWASOL. 

More recently, Sir Michael Chastanet allowed PAWASOL to erect a small shop in the car park of one his properties at Rodney Bay. It opens every Friday. Once a month on Saturday from 6 am for a Flea Market and then the shop ’til noon. Many items from kitchenware to ball gowns are donated. Items of clothing are often brand new with the label still on them. The little shop is well worth a visit and it’s fun. 

It was so sad to see how some of these children had to be helped. Things that most of us would have taken for granted. We gave money for bus fare, school fees, school lunches, books and uniforms. Without our support, they could not attend school. Unbelievable in this day and age! Many children had serious medical issues. This usually meant they had to leave the island for treatment. I dread to think what would have happened to them if they hadn’t been financially helped. 

The most satisfying thing was when grateful children and parents sent in letters of thanks and appeared in person with big smiles on their faces. They truly meant their gratitude from the bottom of their hearts. Arranging events was hard work but usually fun in the process and great feelings of satisfaction in the end. 

The end of 2019 saw us retire and a new committee take over. During our time at PAWASOL, with the wonderful direction of the committee, 800 children were helped with medical and education and we raised just about $1 million.

For more articles on sustainability and social engagement in the Caribbean, read our latest issue of ApaNa Magazine.

ApaNa Magazine Issue 4 – One Caribbean, One Sea

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