I’ve been a proud ambassador for JustOneThing365 for many years now and I’m hugely proud of the work that Petra Laranjo and her tribe strive to do every year for animal and human welfare. She has an empathetic heart, a seemingly endless supply of energy and an enormous capacity to raise funds, appeal for donations, pick up and collect and help dozens and dozens of other organisations in need whilst doing all of this within her own organisation.
So with a gleeful and willing heart, I headed out on the 17th May 2020 to donate about 100 Kgs of dog food and Cat food that PetZone had donated to JustOneThing365 and took it through to the Thinasonke Township.
I arrived at the Brakenhurst Veterinary Clinic in Alberton with the sun just starting to warm up the day. I met about a dozen other vehicles (jammed full of goodies and wonderful generous people) all loaded up with a variety of donations from pet kennels, dog and cat food, de-worming tablets and even sweets for kids. This entourage of committed civilians, under the brilliant guidance of SAPS Captain Foord, was ready to head into Thinasonkwe Township. Yes!!!
The one thing that struck me as I entered the Township, was the incredible energy of the people that lived there, and the children’s smiles and laughter just melted my heart. I met and chatted to as many people as I encountered. People opened up their homes / properties for me to come inside and see where their animals were sleeping and they spoke openly about what they struggled with. This was a wonderful opportunity to connect with people with animals and help advise them how to take better care of their pets.
From ensuring water bowls are cleaned often and filled up with fresh water, to ensuring they know how to store the food that they have received, making sure they had a good place to sleep, to tips on how to make their pet’s food last longer. The willingness to learn and take better care was felt and heard.
We broke off in groups, each taking a side of the street, and walked down the roads asking people if they had any cats or dogs. Bags of food were donated, animals with previous injuries were re-assessed and new shelters were set up so quickly it felt surreal. This outreach program was incredibly organised and knowledgeable and if it weren’t for the donations that I took in from JustOneThing365, I don’t think I would have ever been able to experience it in the way I did.
I felt safe and protected by everyone on the trip as the common goal was for the GOOD of the animals and the people. To do good things, for others. To help, to assist, to lend an ear, to talk but also to give is a beautiful experience. Without the want of any reward but that just by acting upon a purpose, you have made an impact on other people’s lives.
I must say when I drove home about 6 hours later, I felt elated about what I had experienced. I’m a teacher at heart and if I’m not living in service and educating, then I’m not living. So, thank you to JustOneThing365 for all that you do and all that you are. To the tribe, please keep pushing. There are millions of ways to make a difference.
I’m going back on the 30th of May 2020, with a car crammed with blankets and bowls and food and parcels generously donated by the JustOneThing365 tribe.
JustOneThing365 NEVER stops giving. You guys are amazing!
Thank you again.
Article contributor: Bonnie Lee Bouman (Casting Director, Bonnie Lee Bouman Casting Studio)