Christmas Spirit Alive and Well in Split

Total Croatia News

Ah Christmas… a time of year to spend with loved ones, over-indulge, eat, drink, be merry and join the hordes at the shopping centre in search of that perfect gift…

It is definitely a time of year we are all guilty of getting ‘wrapped up’ and carried away with the festivities, but it is still nice to know that there are some people who remember that “Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more…”

This year I stumbled upon an initiative by local expat Tania Ioncone, who, after seeing a request for help from the group “Potrebno mi je – poklanjam” decided to jump to action and organize a collection. With the help of locals Julia Kantic, Patricia Brownel and myself we purchased toiletries, sports equipment, trainers, t-shirts and a few ‘luxury items’ like earrings and makeup for the girls.

After meeting at ‘Fensi Šmensi bar’ (thanks to ‘Papa Tonči’ for lending us the space) to combine all the gifts, we then delivered them to the homes. Currently in full-time care there are around 13 boys and 8 girls; we were greeted at both homes by friendly youths and their carers. As we entered the room, we could see there were already numerous donations; Nikola Vugdelija from the Kastel Stifilic home (for girls) had this to say:

“We have had a lot of donations this year, more than ever, all from the local community and businesses such as – DM, Play Station Croatia, City Centre Split and Hat Trick, we are so grateful and the girls are delighted!”

It was a beautiful experience to not only deliver the gifts, but to meet such wonderful people as Nikola and Renata Colic who make a difference every day.

Last year I was impressed to see the initiative at Zinfandel food & wine bar and was very happy to see it in action for a second year running –

“Christmas is the time for helping others and spreading the love! We are proud to support the organization ‘Lastovo’ helping people of all ages for another year running”.

Zinfandel had two options: you can either purchase one of the handmade gifts made by the ‘Lastavice’ (a few still available so get down and show your support) and all proceeds go to the organization, or you could take a name from the Christmas tree and buy that person a gift so they can feel special when they have a personalized present to unwrap on Christmas day.

There was no shortage of people wanting to help out as the names disappeared quickly and now Zinfandel’s Christmas tree is overflowing with gifts bought by locals for those in need – a beautiful sight.

And let’s not forget our furry friends over the Christmas season! Another local expat Gulshat Valishina got together a collection of products donated by local businesses and organized an auction to raise money for “Lapko Rescue” – an organization to help stray and abandoned animals.

This is by no means an exhaustive list as there seems to be no shortage of good will in local communities and initiatives. With all the negative we can sometimes read in the news today, it is heart-warming to see that the Christmas spirit is truly alive and well here in Split!

Happy Holidays!!



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