Do­na­tion lifts a young spirit

District Mail - - GENERAL ALGEMEEN - Jamey Gor­don

“At times, our own light goes out and is rekin­dled by a spark from an­other per­son. Each of us has cause to think with deep grat­i­tude of those who have lit the flame within us.” – Al­bert Sch­weitzer

In this case the can­dle was lit by a lo­cal fam­ily, who re­sponded to a com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tion’s calls for the do­na­tion of a bi­cy­cle in aid of a teenage boy fac­ing hard­ship. The self­less act of kind­ness has spurred words of over­whelm­ing grat­i­tude and ap­pre­ci­a­tion by Patch’s Amanda-Lea Jones, who felt com­pelled to take ac­tion and re­quest the public’s as­sis­tance af­ter learn­ing the 13-year-old’s story.

She ex­plained: “Su­san de Jager, the so­cial worker sup­port­ing this child client had men­tioned to me that if a bike is do­nated to Patch, please could we keep it aside for her client as she re­cently learnt that he had sold his bike to buy food for his fam­ily dur­ing lock­down. On hear­ing Su­san’s story I de­cided to post a plea on so­cial me­dia with the hope that his bike could be re­placed and his spir­its lifted, in this way con­tribut­ing to­wards his heal­ing process.”

The re­quest call­ing for the do­na­tion of a bi­cy­cle for the con­sid­er­ate soul de­serv­ing of some hap­pi­ness and “has had to deal with more than he should at his age” was posted and shared on Face­book about a week ago. Ac­cord­ing to Jones a well-known sup­porter of the Helder­berg Cen­tre for Sex­u­ally Abused Chil­dren put her in con­tact with a Som­er­set West couple, Michelle and An­drew Di­et­rich who, along with their son Justin, do­nated his un­used Scott Spark 40 bi­cy­cle worth an es­ti­mated

R16 000 to the boy.

“Michelle and Justin men­tioned they were more than happy to do­nate the bike, as Justin no longer had a need for it and felt some­one de­serv­ing could make bet­ter use of it,” she said. “When they read the Patch Face­book post, they knew im­me­di­ately that our client should be the one to re­ceive the bike.”

Justin gladly parted with the bi­cy­cle, in­clud­ing ac­ces­sories, dur­ing the han­dover to Patch on Sun­day. His dad, who could not make the han­dover due to work com­mit­ments, in­cluded a very gen­er­ous Check­ers voucher added to the do­na­tion. The bi­cy­cle was pre­sented to the boy on Tues­day.

Jones said the do­na­tion of the bi­cy­cle, which is in mint con­di­tion although about 10 years old, ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tions. “We never thought for a sec­ond we would re­ceive such an in­cred­i­ble do­na­tion,” she said, “On be­half of Patch we are more than over­whelmed. In fact, we are all rather emo­tional. We never thought we would re­ceive the type of re­sponse we have. We posted a re­quest on Fri­day, and on Sun­day we had it and more! We are sur­rounded by so much trauma that some­thing as sim­ple as a do­na­tion can lift our spir­its and re­store our faith in hu­man­ity.”

In re­sponse to a re­quest to share more about the de­serv­ing ben­e­fi­ciary, Jones said: “All our child clients are spe­cial in their own way; they each have their own per­son­al­ity or some­thing unique that draws us to them and makes us want to do more. This child is par­tic­u­larly spe­cial; he has a great deal of trauma he is work­ing so hard to process but de­spite this he never com­plains. He is never thank­less, but is the most giv­ing and kind­est of chil­dren, who thrives on help­ing oth­ers. He stands out be­cause of his good heart, and it in­fu­ri­ates us to know this good­ness was taken ad­van­tage of.”

Ac­cord­ing to Jones, the boy will make use of his new pos­ses­sion to get around on, es­pe­cially to and from school.

“How can the words ‘thank you’ ever be enough?” she asked. “We are deeply grate­ful for the sup­port re­ceived and we are as thank­ful to all those who re­sponded and shared our Face­book post.

“We are com­ing out of a pan­demic that has af­fected mil­lions, yet, peo­ple still give and are so will­ing to help. It’s this kind­ness that dif­fuses the rage and mis­trust each one of our staff mem­bers hold in­side. We are so thank­ful for the sup­port re­ceived and so grate­ful to all those who be­lieve in what we do at Patch.”

Photo: Jonathan Lestrade/SON

Helder­berg res­i­dent Lazelle Schoe­man hosted a fun day for the chil­dren of Broad­lands Park last Satur­day (10 Oc­to­ber), which in­cluded a ses­sion of them danc­ing to the “Jerusalema” Chal­lenge. Schoe­man said she did it for the com­mu­nity, as she felt so wel­comed by them when she vis­ited the area re­cently and wanted to do some­thing to make them happy. She said the event was a great suc­cess, and she planned to host sim­i­lar in­ter­ac­tive days with the chil­dren in the near fu­ture. Pic­tured do­ing the dance with the chil­dren is Schoe­man, far left.

Justin Di­et­rich do­nated his un­used bi­cy­cle to a teenage boy who was forced to sell his for food for his fam­ily dur­ing lock­down.

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