Purple rose and the less fortunate

Members of the Purple Rose Tea Club pose for a group photo during their morning tea in Lautoka earlier this week. Picture: SITERI SAUVAKACOLO

ASSISTING the underprivileged and the less fortunate has been a blessing for the Purple Rose Tea Club for the past four years.

The name itself is quite unique because it is rare to find a purple rose blooming away so, on a trip to Wellington, New Zealand, a few years ago, club president Celine Worthington actually saw a purple rose for the first time and this was how she came up with the club name.

But just like roses blooming away in the hot summer, so as the ladies willingness to reach out and donate generously to those who needed assistance. The group is made up of a group of energetic Lautoka ladies who have always met up for morning tea during their free time where they decided to work together and do something worthy.

And since then, the women’s group has been heavily involved in donations to not only underprivileged children but to those as well who had suffered havocs from natural disasters like Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston. “And this was the beginning of our lovely journey,” Mrs Worthington shared.

“We started in 2014, and usually we just had our group of ladies, probably four of us, just a cup of tea on the balcony and I decided this was not worth it getting together as a group so I just decided why don’t we do something for the underprivileged.

“So we all decided to form a little tea club and as words went out, other women started joining us and this was how the numbers grew… we also had some expats joining us and we are so happy to be doing what we are doing because we feel good to be helping the underprivileged.”

The latest achievement the group has made so far was paying for the full fees of an iTaukei student to complete his tertiary studies after having spent some time shining shoes on the streets of Lautoka. And because of his good grades, the group also bought him a laptop to assist in his studies.

This is just one of the many other successful projects that the group had undertaken so far and there are many other upcoming projects that are already on the pipeline.

Every month, a group member would host a morning tea where all other group members would bring a plate each with their monthly contribution.

But the journey has not just been theirs alone because donors continue to give generously to the club which enables them to carry out their charity work and assist those in need.

And it is not just about those living in Lautoka, those in the highlands and the interior of the Western Viti Levu have also had a feel of what the group does.

On June, the group held its first ever biggest fundraising drive where they gained major support from various business houses in the Western Division.

“We feel blessed because we know the people we are helping are happy of what we do to them.

“After Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston, we travelled to the interior and the highlands and we shed tears with Fijians we assisted.

“I take my hat off to my lady friends because without them, it’s hard to get around and it is a beautiful thing to help people out.”

The group is already planning to assist two children with special needs as their next project alongside other projects that are lined up for year-end as well as next year.

Mrs Worthington added that it was such a blessing to be able to donate and assist as there are people around us who really needed such assistance.

The Purple Rose group also acknowledged the crew of the American Survivors series who recently shot movies on Yasawa for giving them large sums of money to assist them in assisting the less fortunate and the underprivileged.

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