Marisa Ballestracci and Hazell Bradshaw
Over the years, €632,547 have been collected by the "Tin Army", thanks to the volunteers who distribute, collect and manage Cudeca's collecting tins. Their "General" is Marisa, at the Hospice Centre, who has been organising this fantastic army over the last sixteen years.
The collecting tins have been a big success story for Cudeca, with 2012 bringing in €52,440!
The tins, which now total nearly 1000, can be found all along the coast from Puerto de la Duquesa to Nerja – and are in placed in bars, restaurants, banks, hairdressers, clubs, clinics, supermarkets, etc.
A dedicated team of collectors (affectionately known as the "tin soldiers"), place the tins in their locations, then pick them up, hopefully full, and replace them with an empty one, at least twice a year. The "tin soldiers" later return with receipts after the money has been meticulously counted at the Hospice Centre.
Such is the volume of coins received, we have a a machine to assist with sorting and counting the contributions, but we still need the help of Brendan Dalley and Hazel Pettit to open the tins, operate the machine and do all the post-counting paper work. The coins are then collected by a Security company who take them to the bank, once a month.
Two of our most productive tins are at Malaga airport (for which we are grateful to AENA). The collecting points are by the shopping and café area in the new terminal and by Gate 39. Between them, these two points collect around €3,500 per annum, largely thanks to passengers travelling to the UK.
Apart from our collection tins being distributed in the various locations described above, we also have lots of tins in people's homes. Supporters find this an easy way to help Cudeca and a great way to "dispose of" loose change.
The tins themselves are sourced for about 30 cents each from a supplier in Murcia, then volunteers bind the wrappers on them after punching security holes in them for chains to be attached (although, luckily, our losses of tins are below 1%).
This year, our new sponsor Sur in English (Diario Sur) have not only sponsored our wrappers but also the cost of 1,500 tins - with a total of €1,000. Our heartfelt thanks go to Sur in English (Diario Sur) for this extra special and generous support.
Operating a tin round is fun and can be done at a time convenient to the collector who can choose the number of tins he or she wishes to look after. We now have about 35 volunteers managing "rounds" of tins and try to keep the average number of tins to about 25, although some manage twice this number.
Marisa is always looking to recruit more volunteers so why don't you ring her on 952 564 910 or you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
……... and for anyone who doesn´t know, "hucha" is Spanish for "moneybox"