How Carly was inspired to become a Kenyan charity volunteer and fundraiser

Carly McNeil reveals why she is volunteering and fundraising for Gathimba Edwards Foundation.

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Gathimba Edwards Foundation volunteer and fundraiser, Carly McNeil
Gathimba Edwards Foundation volunteer and fundraiser, Carly McNeil

Carly McNeil is one of the volunteers travelling to Kenya for the first time this October to build two houses for 8 children in Karatina with Aberdeen based charity, Gathimba Edwards Foundation.

Below, in her own words, is what inspired her to help others less fortunate than herself and how she became involved with the Gathimba Edwards Foundation, which has led to her volunteer for this year’s house building trip.

“My late mum always wanted to help children less fortunate then her own.

“Every Christmas would come and she would suggest not wasting money on decorations, presents and food and give to those who needed it more.

“I have three sisters so we would say daft things like “well Eilidh hasn’t had as many Christmases as Carly so that wouldn’t be fair!” which of course is the case every year. So each year it would be considered and then for what ever reason it just didn’t happen.

“2014 was the first Christmas we had without our mum and to honour her memory and live out what she had suggested in previous years my Dad decided to find a charity that he could support which would help disadvantaged children.

Carly McNeil and mother
Carly with her late mother, who inspired the whole family to help those less fortunate than themselves.

“It was about this time that Myles and Gideon had decided to team up to create GEF. I knew Myles from the athletic scene and was aware that he had been doing some fundraising for one of the orphanages in Kenya. I put my Dad, Chris Hall, in touch with him and he decided to get involved.

He was excited to see what this new charity was doing and we loved that we could be involved with trips over there to meet those receiving the benefits and seeing how our money and our support could make a difference.

Carly McNeil and sons
Carly and her two boys, four year Ethan and one year old Kyle.

“My Dad and my sister Jessica went together for the first visit and shortly after this my sister was inspired enough to start her own charity Music For Kenya. Being a musician by trade she felt she could use the universal language of music to enrich the lives of those who may have never seen a violin or a guitar before.

“Both my father, sister Jessica and sister Kirstin have now been a number of times between them to Kenya to do various charity work. This will be my first visit out there.

“I have two boys, four year Ethan and one year old Kyle. Still wanting to be involved I completed the London Marathon this year before my youngest turned one and raised almost £2000 for Music For Kenya in the process.

Carly McNeil London Marathon
Carly ran in this year’s London Marathon.

“I am both excited and nervous to go to Kenya in October and I am trying to raise £500 to go towards the cost of building two houses for families while we are out there.

“One of the things I am most excited to see is the Karen Hall memorial garden that the children of the Pavilion Village created for her when they were told of the inspiration behind why we decided to help. Everything myself and my family do is inspired by her and we hope to make her very proud.

“Between us all we sponsor three children in Kenya and I hope to takes my boys out there one day too.”

– Carly McNeil

Carly is fundraising towards the cost of building materials required for the house building project she has volunteered for in Kenya.

If you would like to support her and the charity, you can do so by donating via her TotalGiving page.

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