One of Globalteer’s most loyal supporters and long-time fund-raisers recently handed over her latest donation, taking the total she has raised in aid of Globalteer’s charitable work to over £20,000 (US$32,000)! Jo Kirk-Mannering (above, left) – who also happens to be the mother of Globalteer founder Jim Elliott - has been raising money for Globalteer since Jim set up the charity in 2006.
In the begnning
Jo started off by selling second hand books from a single table outside her cottage by the mill pond in the picturesque village of Stoke Gabriel in South Devon.
At first family and friends from the village would give Jo their unwanted books to sell but over the years the stall has grown and diversified and so has Jo’s customer base. Her country cottage has an enviable location facing the picturesque mill pond and creek, and almost every visitor to the village has to pass the enticing stall on their way to or from the lovely grassy riverside and its cosy tea shop and cafe.
Initially the money raised was used to help set up Grace House Community Centre in Cambodia, which is also named after Jo’s late mother Grace. Many of the villagers knew Jo’s mum personally so were more than happy to help fund a project in her name. More recently the money raised has helped to set up and cover the running costs for Picaflor House, Globalteer’s community project in Peru, as well as the Globalteer Cambodia Sports Project.
A veritable treasure trove
Jo receives all manner of donations these days, from visitors and villagers alike. Musical instruments, ornaments, china & glassware and DVDs are just some of the items you may find amongst the great selection of contemporary and classic paperbacks and hardbacks. Younger family members visiting Jo made and sold loom bands for 50p each and children holidaying in the cottage opposite once made cakes and sold them in the riverside car park in aid of the stall. People love to feel part of the fund raising effort and Jo has a policy of never turning anything away, as she explained,
“Everything is worth something to someone so it would be wrong to turn down any donation. And you never know what you are going to find at the bottom of a box of second hand goods – I have been given some extremely valuable old books that have really given our funds a boost! Can you imagine if I’d turned them away?”
Globalteer’s Cusco-based Marketing manager Simon Hare and South America Project Manager Colin Newstead (pictured below with Jo and her husband) paid a visit to Stoke Gabriel and the famous stall on a recent trip to the UK, to stock up on some English books for their return to Peru. It was a sunny September day and trade was brisk, as Colin explained,
“Within minutes of our arriving at Jo’s cottage people were browsing the stall and making purchases. Then someone arrived with a whole box of goodies including a beautifully decorated china pie stand – that was snapped up within minutes for a fiver! Then Jo blew us away with news of her reaching the £20,000 and popped open a bottle of bubbly to celebrate…it would have been rude not to!”
Huge thanks to Jo and all our donors
At Globalteer we are overwhelmed by Jo’s continued support and generosity and all that it has made possible over the years. And it just goes to show how it is often the simplest of ideas, along with a generous dollop of commitment that can turn into tens of thousands of pounds or dollars.
If you would like to help raise funds for Globalteer’s work then please visit our Top Tips for brilliant Fundraising page. And if you are in Stoke Gabriel in Devon, England between March and October be sure to head for the river, pay Jo a visit and pick up a bargain or two!