DROP INN Ministries Ballymoney are heading to Burkina Faso today (Tuesday) with a very special gift from the people of the area.
Two of those heading to Africa are Edwina Chambers and Mandy Coyles who will be presenting hundreds of pounds towards a special vehicle funded by local people which could prove a life-saver for those using it.
Thanks to north Antrim folk a fantastic £9500 has been raised to purchase the invaluable mode of transport.
The local people in the impoverished state have already taken collection of £9,000 and the remainder will be hand delivered by Edwina and Mandy.
It is one of the results of the influx of donations made to the charity throughout last year.
Edwina told the Times: “Drop Inn wish to say a massive thank you to everyone in the Ballymoney and surrounding district for the support they gave in 2011.
“We want to thank everyone who donated, the purchase of this vehicle is wonderful.
“Thanks must go to the Church of God, local schools, everyone who helped.
“Alternative Christmas gifts feed nearly a thousand orphaned children, more than 200 poor families.
“As a Christmas gift the children always received one bottle of Coca Cola or Sprite.
“This is the third year the children have received a Christmas gift.
“Thanks to the generosity of the Ballymoney people.
“Never before has this happened to the people of Burkina Faso.”
Edwina continued: “The money this year fed all these people but this would never have happened only for your generosity.
“After they were fed there was £800 left over and whenever we asked the Pastor what else was needed he said that was all.
“Unfortunately the mini-bus/ambulance they use is 21 years old and not worth spending money on to repair.
“We asked him to find out the price of a second hand bus.
“He came back to us a few days later to tell us the bus would cost £9,500.
“This bus is used as an ambulance and mini-bus and for many, many purposes.
“Mandy Coyles and myself are going to Burkina Faso on Tuesday and will be getting the DVD on the Christmas feast and if you would like one please call in to the shop.
“A big thanks to the people of Ballymoney and surrounding district for their support.
“Liam Beckett raised £1353.21 for Drop in with his Black Santa sit-out over Christmas.
“Those donations have helped us raise the £9,000 and we will take the other £500.
“We will also be taking 200 hearing aids and hundreds of batteries donated to us by the Lions Club of Hastings.
“Last month 2332 shoeboxes were sent from Ballymoney containing gifts for disadavantaged children.”