Volunteering in the Costa Del Sol
As good as the dream of living in the Costa del Sol may look; a place like this needs people volunteering in the local area, just as any other does. So if you want to become a helping hand in the community, there are plenty of good causes you could involve yourself with volunteering, starting from animal care and rescue centres, to charity shops, soup kitchens, food banks amongst a list of endless charities.
Volunteering has become very popular in the Costa del Sol, for both locals and expats, and all for a very good reason: giving something back to the community. Bit by bit, the volunteers make a lot of lives easier for so many in need, and yet there is room for so much more.
A lot of people arrive on the Costa del Sol and are looking for organisations to get involved with. So if you are thinking of giving up some of your free time to help others, here are some of the local organizations who would really appreciate your help.
Age Concern España is a non-profit organization which offers guidance, support and help for over 50’s people living in Spain and try to integrate them best and promote their well being. Their activity started in 1994 and has two local organizations in the Costa del Sol: Fuengirola y Mijas Sur and Estepona y Manilva. You can help the foundation by volunteering, fundraising or organizing charities. For contact and more information visit www.acespana.org .
ADANA or Association for the Rights of Abandoned Animals is another way to involve in your community. The association is based in Estepona, where they have an animal shelter, a charity shop and a stall at the Sunday Rastro at Sabinillas. The concern of abandoned animals is a large issue in the area, as many cats, dogs or horses get abandoned and left in the street in improper conditions. There are so many things you can do as a volunteer to help them get in shape or find a new loving home from dog-walking, helping out at the animal shelter or getting involved in the association’s plenty charitable events. For contact and more information visit www.adana.es/en/ .
Cudeca is a cancer care hospice in Arroyo de la Miel, helping terminally ill cancer patients with palliative treatment and offering support to their families. The organization has a wide training program for those willing to contribute to the care of cancer patients, but also a range of charity shops where you can help by donating “good to sell” items, like used clothes or furniture in order to raise money for the hospice. For contact and more information visit www.cudeca.org
Triple A Marbella-San Pedro is a non-profit organization of ‘Amigos’ of Abandoned Animals in Marbella & San Pedro Alcántara, helping animals in need and finding them a new home. You can help by donations, sponsoring an animal or accompany one on its flight to a new home. Often pets from this shelter get adopted by animal lovers from Germany, Sweden, Finland or Holland, so if you’re planning a trip to one of these countries, you can help by letting them add the animal to your plane ticket (no extra costs for you) so they can safely go to their new homes. For contact and more information visit www.tripleamarbella.org/eng .
DEBRA or The Butterfly Children Charity is another non-profit organization which aims in helping children suffering from a really rare condition: Butterfly Skin (Epidermolysis Bullosa or EB). This condition is genetic and causes painful blisters or open wounds even at the slightest touch of the skin. It yet has no treatment or cure, and there are about 1000 people with this condition in Spain. DEBRA is located in Marbella and you can help by volunteering at the charity shops or contributing to fundraisers. For contact and more information visit www.pieldemariposa.es .
ARCH or Andalucian Rescue Center for Horses is another animal caring organization which aims to help and rescue abandoned or malnourished ponies, horses, donkeys or mules. The facility is located in Alhaurín el Grande and there is always need for help, as they try each day to save equines from the slaughterhouse. You can help by volunteering in the stables, there is a lot of work to be done, from grooming to feeding and cleaning up their space. For contact and more information visit horserescuespain.org .
Many other charitable events take place throughout the year in Costa del Sol, so whether you would like to help organizing them or even compete at one of the charity runs, keep an eye out for when they announce the events in your area. While most of them take place near the holidays, here are 3 events we already know about:
- The 3rd Annual STM Group 5km & 10km Fun Run in support of Gibraltar’s Guardian Angel Foundation (info) 19th April 2015
- The CUDECA Walkathon in Benalmadena (info) Sunday 17th May 2015
- Starlite Gala Charity Event in Marbella, hosted by Antonio Banderas (info) – first Saturday in August (not yet confirmed for 2015)
Remember that no task is too little and that just a few hours a week can make a difference for your community. Pick something you believe in and contact the organization you choose to find out how you can help.