As we are still waiting to get back to work with our social events, let’s remember the latest report for the proceeds of our “Dinner in the Dark” events.
We had the honor to live the Dinner in The Dark experience in Paris in the summer of ‘07, at a restaurant operated by blind employees who professionally offered this original, interactive experience. We could never have imagined back then that, a few years later, we would make a team of volunteers from all over Greece, getting ready for our 12th event already!
We have managed to offer over 8.500€ through the 11 Dinners in the Dark that were organized throughout Greece: a donation to our financially weak fellow folks and institutions of child protection and care!
We witness the constant improvement of the event, while the vision of “Me Alla Matia” further strengthens our passion for voluntary action, instead of fading over the years as some believed.
It all started on March 31, 2012, in a picturesque tavern in the old town of Rethymno. 50 people lived this experience for the first time in Greece. And then, 4 times in Heraklion, 3 times in Athens, Thessaloniki, Tripoli and Karditsa.
Co-hosting with us, we had the Youth of the Panhellenic Association of the Blind, while we have locally collaborated with the Administrative Region of Crete, the municipalities of Heraklion, Thessaloniki and Peristeri, the Mental Health Center of Rethymno, the Association of Friends of AEK FC Heraklion, the Kids Radio Station “Family 89.5fm”, the Association of Three-Child Families of Heraklion, the Day Center “Amalthea” in Tripoli, the Lions Club of Thessaloniki “HERAKLIA”, the Association of Three-Child Families of Karditsa, the Regional Union of Municipalities of Karditsa, the Holy Metropolis of Karditsa, the Medical Association of Karditsa, many contributors and communication sponsors and even more volunteers!
All of us who dined blindfolded, who worked for these 11 events getting ready for the 12th, we are all happy and proud, because among other things:
♦ In 2012 and 2013, we financially supported weak families in Heraklion and Rethymno.
♦ We supported the decent fight for the social reintegration of our mentally ill fellow citizens from all over the Peloponnese.
♦ We made it possible for a little soul to travel abroad for a year and a half, to undergo a difficult and specialized surgery, in his attempt to win his life battle against a rare disease.
♦ We financially contributed to the operation of the Hostel of the SOS Children’s Villages of Greece in Heraklion.
♦ With another Dinner in Athens, we supported the SOS Children’s Villages of Greece, covering the basic salary of a social scientist for 1 month.
♦ We managed to purchase three computers and a multifunction machine for the modernization of the Informatics Laboratory of the School for the Blind of Thessaloniki, leaving a modern legacy to children with vision problems throughout Northern Greece.
♦ We supported the Pancretan Association of Parents and Friends of Children with Cancer “Iliachtida”, operating at the University General Hospital of Heraklion.
♦ We covered all the costs of the necessary electrical work, so that now the “Right to Life” Association (Rehabilitation Center for the Disabled) can operate in Thrapsano, Crete.
♦ We financially boosted the independent living structures for the disabled of the Association of Naval Parents “Argo”. Moreover, via the 10th Dinner In the Dark and meallamatia.gr, Barilla met “Argo” and donated 288 kilos of pasta to its boarding school, covering the feeding needs of the beneficiaries for many months!
♦ The proceeds of the 11th Dinner in the Dark were used to cover the basic needs of needy disabled residents in Karditsa. The first case of our fellow disabled citizen was quite complicated, as he was found living without a family, in an arbitrary and neglected house he inherited, without electricity. Thanks to the sponsorships of the event and the awareness of the Cooperative Bank of Karditsa, the house was settled and legalized, while the electricity was restored.
Furthermore, the proceeds from the invitations, which amounted to slightly more than 500€, will support another disabled citizen in Karditsa, who has been selected, following a proposal by the Co-Hosts, the local bodies, and evaluation with social and economic criteria.
What did we win?
- Over 100 volunteers all over Greece have helped us at least once to actualize the Dinner, with eyes closed and hearts open!
- Volunteers are constantly joining us and new invitations are coming, so that the Dinner In the Dark can be organized in other cities and islands of Greece and Cyprus.
- Three underaged volunteers who now support their parents and help us in our events are sending the message that Dinner In the Dark can be organized for many more years!
- Every time we are forced to pay VAT and insurance benefits for volunteers in this non-profit event, every time our online “friends” unjustifiably criticize us from their home safety, every time we fight with the bureaucracy, we get even more stubborn and yet, we still love our Greece with its pros and cons!
For all those who trust us and experience a whole dinner in total darkness, sharpening all their other senses, we help them realize that even if a “snag” happens to you, life goes on!
If you want Dinner In the Dark to be held in your city, contact us at email@example.com