This year, Sue went “all out” with the 2012 Candles for Community campaign with a 9 week program which included running events, making and selling delicious 100% soy candles for Christmas to raise funds and awareness for Sunrise Children’s Villages in Cambodia.
Sue was supporting “her kids” at Sunrise, and dear friend Geraldine Cox, who has been “big mum” to countless children in Cambodia for over 17 years. The Sunrise family is currently over 400 children in her care with the opening of a new centre for children with HIV/AIDS, Sunrise 3 on 1 December.
Although Sue has been making candles and running the Candles for Community campaign since 2008 – this was the first year to develop a shop and sell online via her website. The range and candle shop was developed and built in 3 (intense) weeks along with the commitment to donate 50% of profits from candle sales to Sunrise. Included in the campaign were two fundraising events in Sydney with Geraldine in early November which helped to launch the candles campaign. Sue’s overall lofty goal was to raise $6000.
$8180 was raised, yet it’s about more than dollars!
- $6880 from events, book sales, sponsorships and donations in early November.
- $1300 from the actual sale of candles from 15 October – 12 December.
- Over 300 items and packages were bought and sent all over Australia. Some also made it to Hawaii and San Francisco! ( all made and packaged by Sue)
- Books and DVDs were bought , with people eager to find out more about Geraldine’s colourful life, motivation and commitment to the children at Sunrise.
- Awareness was raised and interest re-sparked in both Geraldine and what’s happening at Sunrise with the children in Cambodia today.
- Engagement was deepened, commitment re-ignited and hearts and minds tickled for those discovering Sunrise and Geraldine for the first time.
- Through Candles for Community, many people will receive candles for Christmas, will enjoy their delicious candles and be introduced to Sunrise. Who knows where this may lead?
Thank you for my candles. Waiting for Xmas day to give my sister her candle. Loving my lemongrass candle it smells beautiful. I think of the children every time I light it up. -Maria, a candle loving customer
Money to be spent on musical instruments and the music program.
After discussions between Sue and Geraldine this week, they decided to invest the money raised in purchasing musical instruments for the children.
The music program at Sunrise focuses not only on traditional Cambodian music, dance and culture. Western instruments have been introduced this year and the children eagerly give up their one day rest (Sunday) to take lessons in violin, saxophone, guitar, drums and piano.
The lessons go back -to-back from 7am-4pm and there is also a band in the making, with them practicing ALL DAY (which doesn’t really make for a quiet, restful Sunday…..) Some of the children are learning so fast and so well, you would think that they had been having lessons for years.
Music really is one of the best therapies for the children. When Sue was in Cambodia in July, she had the pleasure of watching her sponsor child Waew take her violin lesson. After only 6 months of lessons, Waew is playing complex music, which makes her heart soar and brings tears to her eyes because it sounds so beautiful.
To all the wonderful people who supported Sunrise through Sue Liu’s Candles for Community campaign, please accept a huge heartfelt thank you from me and the Sunrise Children. Funds raised will go towards buying more musical instruments for our new music program. Once again, the warmest of thanks. – Geraldine Cox 12/12/12
I’m celebrating the success of this campaign with all of you. THANK YOU to those of you who participated and purchased, who spread the word and got INVOLVED! This is a VERY special campaign and venture, and I’m really thrilled with the support and encouragement. We WILL continue in 2013 – so keep spreading the word about Candles and Sunrise – and get CREATIVE with your ideas about how you may like to assist with future activities. Have a very safe and happy festive season! – Sue Liu 12/12/12
If you are interested in being involved in future events and opportunities to support Zulu’s Community/Candles for Community and Sunrise, please contact Sue.