History of The Tartan Army Sunshine Appeal
Being part of the Tartan Army is more than a love of football or representing Scotland abroad. It’s about making friends wherever we go, and it was one of these friendships that led to the Tartan Army Sunshine Appeal.
On a trip to Bosnia, Scotland fans were made aware of the plight of a local lad, Kemal Karic, who had been injured and orphaned during the shelling of Sarajevo.
Following the Tartan Army`s travels to Bosnia, a number of people were conscious of how fortunate they were and how much they spent on trips to support Scotland.
At this time Mirza (who had embraced Scotland and the Tartan Army) made some of his new friends aware of a boy called Kemal Karic, whose mother was killed by artillery in Sarajevo, as she ran carrying 3 month old Kemal. Kemal`s leg was blown off just above the knee.
Ideas for raising money to help Kemal began to fall into place and an Appeal for the Tartan Army to contribute became known as the Sunshine Appeal.
An article originally printed in the ‘Balkan Times’ which gives some more details can be found Here
Whilst people continued to fund raise for Kemal (known as Kemo) and more became aware of the Appeal through the Message Board, it became clear that the fundraising was set to continue. The Tartan Army was showing great generosity and imagination and the Sunshine Appeal made its aim “to bring a little sunshine to the lives of children whose countries were visited by the Tartan Army on tour”
Individuals and groups found ways to raise money amongst the Tartan Army and their friends. A virtually unplanned emphasis seemed to be given to contributors also benefiting whilst they were raising funds.
For example, taking part in a sponsored activities where people got together and made new friendships, or purchasing TA related badges, t-shirts, songbooks designed for the Appeal. As the Appeal Fund continued to grow, Lithuania was identified as the next potential country where the Tartan Army could try and give something significant to children who lived there.
In March 2004 it was decided to change the name from Tartan Army Message Board Sunshine Appeal to the Tartan Army Sunshine Appeal to reflect the wider involvement of the Tartan Army and reassure contributors that the Sunshine Appeal was not exclusive to the Message Board users.
Such was the success of the fund-raising for this appeal that the Sunshine Appeal was set up to ‘spread a little sunshine’ in every country that the Tartan Army visits in pursuit of a Scotland victory!
Detail on all the past projects can be found in the ‘Past Projects’ page but donations are given to organisations for disadvantaged and chronically ill children. Donations come in the form of money and, in some particularly needy cases, goods such as clothes, toiletries, games, toys, sweets etc all of which are kindly donated by footsoldiers.
Every country visited by the Tartan Army benefits with a local charity being identified and a presentation made by footsoldiers on or around the day of the game. A bunch of Scottish football fans, all kilted up, going in to make a presentation can make quite an impact for the children and, indeed, for the hard-worked staff too. They really appreciate the personal touch of tartan bedecked fans entertaining them! And a blast on the doodlesac from the piper(s) goes down a treat too.
The Sunshine Appeal was put together by people on their own initiative. Just Scottish football supporters, proud of their country and doing it because they want to. It’s pure passion – just as Scottish football should be.
Information about the Sunshine Appeal is always available from our own website - Tartan Army Sunshine Appeal