A Christian fundraiser was full of new year cheer after collecting nearly £4,000 in a charity sit-out.
Local man Jonathan Gault raised the fantastic sum by holding a 24-hour collection in Ballymoney on New Year’s Eve.
Jonathan was left overwhelmed by the generous donations from people in the area as he collected his highest-ever total.
Donations were still coming in last week and at the last count the funds stood at £3,934.05.
This is the third time Jonathan has staged the event.
The money will be used to help build a primary school in Amuria, northern Uganda.
Jonathan staged the fundraiser close to his men’s clothing shop in Church Street a day earlier than the normal New Year’s Day.
It ran from 4pm on Friday 30 December until 4pm the next day.
He said: “Normally on New Year’s Day the town was quiet.
“The time went quicker with it being New Year’s Eve and the town being open.
“There was a lot more activity with people passing by and I’m really encouraged by the donations.
“It’s currently sitting at £3,700 which has been our best year yet and this is the third year we have done it.
“We had folks sit with us and called with us until 3am.
“From 3am to 6.30am until the road sweepers came by it was pretty quiet.
Jonathan braved the cold in the back of a cattle trailer which was donated by a local farmer.
He was warmed by a Calor gas heater, a lot of tea and coffee and the charitable nature of well-wishers.
Jonathan added: “Anyone who stopped with us we could give them tea or coffee and people were interested where the money was going to.
“I’m very thankful and grateful to folks in Ballymoney and surrounding area who supported it.
“With the present economic climate in the world, it was encouraging that the donations have been the best year yet.
“The most successful year yet and just shows the generosity of the Ballymoney people. It was very good.”
Jonathan been involved in charitable work in Uganda since 2006.
He has visited the area a number of times and hopefully will go out again in 2012.
The project to build the school is being organised by Portadown-based Fields of Life.
The church outreach group needs £80,000 to complete the build.
Jonathan is one of a number of people in Northern Ireland who are also raising money.
If anyone would like to donate to the charity they can call in to his shop at 26/28 Church Street.
Jonathan will still gladly accept funds and will be making a cheque presentation to Fields of Life in Portadown at the end of the month or early February.
Fields of Life is committed to changing lives and building sustainable communities in East Africa through teaching the Christian faith and through the provision of quality education, water, health promotion and income generating projects.
For more information visit its website at www.fieldsoflife.com.