‘Putting on the style’ every day to raise funds for children’s charity
Claudia dresses up for a great cause

‘Putting on the style’ every day to raise funds for children’s charity

A LUCAN mum is dressing up in full festive gear every day in the lead-up to Christmas to raise money for a charity that is close to her heart.

Claudia Gelling has gotten used to the funny looks from people by now, as she has been dressing up since the start of November with fairy lights, crazy Christmas jumpers, reindeer antlers, in a penguin costume, and even as a full Christmas dinner.

While the costumes are sure to get a laugh from onlookers as Claudia pops to the shops or does the school run, it’s all for a good cause as she is raising money for the charity ‘Special Day of Flying’, which organises a day of aircraft flights for children with disabilities and life-limiting conditions.

‘The Special Day of Flying’ is one that is close to Claudia’s heart as she has four children with autism who have all got to experience the day of flying with the charity.

“Every year I do something mad – I did a 5km walk dressed as Mrs Brown and had my long hair chopped off, so this year I was thinking what else can I do,” Claudia told The Echo.

“This year has been crappy, so I wanted to be able to make people laugh the whole time.”

Donning a new outfit everyday since the beginning of November, Claudia explains that she has gotten so used to wearing the festive get-ups that sometimes she forgets and is confused by people’s reactions.

Claudia Gelling

“I just go about my daily business getting the kids from school or doing my shopping or whatever it is,” she explained. “I was in Boots the other day and this man came up to me and asked me where Santa’s Grotto was and I just replied, ‘the North Pole’? – I completely forgot that I was dressed up.”

Speaking about the charity she is raising money for, Claudia says that the day is one to look forward to for the children that allows them and their families to experience a once-in-a-lifetime day away from any struggles they may be facing.

“I have four children with special needs, and we don’t go stay in hotels or go away, shopping to Liffey Valley is even a big struggle for us – we don’t get to do many things as a family,” she explained.

“This day is a day where they get an experience where they go up on a light aircraft or a helicopter and they have a little flight, and the children just love it. The gardai come down and bring their horses and so many pilots from all over Ireland volunteer – it is just an amazing day.

“From the tip-top of the sky it is a day full of acceptance and nothing else matters and nobody bats an eye – we are all in the same boat.”

To follow Claudia’s Journey or to donate to her fundraiser you can check out her GoFundMe.

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