Donation lifts a young spirit
“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.”
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.