A long-time fundraiser from Harris has been brought into the limelight, after a significant donation to Marie Curie.
Mairianna Macdonald from Direcleit isn’t looking for any recognition, but her latest total for Marie Curie, the charity which supports people with terminal illnesses and their families, has certainly got her noticed.
Marie Curie’s Outer Hebrides fundraising group received £3,120 from Mairianna – part of a staggering £18,000 that she and her family have raised over eight years for numerous different charities, many of them Harris-based.
Mairianna told welovestornoway.com: “I prefer to raise money for local groups and smaller organisations that maybe don’t get so much support elsewhere. My latest project is to support the science club from Sir E Scott primary school, who came to me for help after I asked whether any other charities needed my support.”
All the money Mairianna has raised comes from table-top sales and sales on Facebook. She sells what she calls bric-a-brac – anything from old furniture to small items like ornaments.
“People know that I am looking for things to sell, so they bring me stuff, sometimes boxes of things from their homes or house clearances. I started by selling things of our own that we no longer needed, but over the years I’ve gained a bit of a reputation.”
It’s not just Mairianna that is involved in the activity – her first motivation came from daughter Cara, who at eight years old decided she wanted to do something for charity. Aged nine she won the Neil Martin trophy in recognition of her fundraising efforts in aid of Macmillan.
Cara’s twin brother, Connor, and dad Alex John also help out. Between them they’ve raised money for Crossroads Harris, Tarbert Day Centre, Chest Heart and Stroke and the North Harris pensioners Christmas lunch. Harris U13 football club got money for new strips, the Salvation Army money for baby equipment and dancers from Harris got help to fund their trip to Euro-Disney this month – and that’s not the half of it!
Mairianna said: “I am actually surprised to have made that much – this is the first time I’ve actually sat down to work it out. I do it because I find it’s beneficial to help keep my depression at bay and I’m very grateful to the local ‘buy, swap, sell’ community as they are the ones that are making such a difference.”
Not everyone will agree with her, so it’s good that Mairianna is getting a little recognition for her huge efforts. After handing over £1,600 to Leverburgh RNLI last year, honorary chairman Hamish Taylor said: “We are touched by the efforts of Mairianna, Cara and Connor, and it is gestures like these that help keep the station running and ultimately help save lives at sea. Mairianna and family have been fundraising for local charities for some time now and they are to be commended for their efforts. Our island and the charities and groups they assist are fortunate to have them.”
There are plenty of local organisations who would agree with Hamish – among them the Marie Curie fundraisers. Thanks to her, Sir E Scott’s science club will be able to attend two competitions on the mainland next year, and Women’s Aid will get a little extra help at Christmas – and then she’ll be on to her next fundraising challenge.
Bashful in the limelight: Mairianna Macdonald is pictured with John Masterson from the Marie Curie fundraising group and, together with Cara and Connor, at the presentation of a cheque to Leverburgh RNLI in September 2018.