Wednesday, 25 February 2015



Sunday is meant for rest and relaxation. But fortunately for the Vanderbijlpark SPCA, there is no rest for the #PandaCrew. As part of my #RAK15 nomination and video I decided to nominate my friend and #PandaCrew founder, Sebastiaan Schütte. Knowing he would always be up for the challenge, he roped us all into coming out and helping him with his Random Act of Kindness. So Sunday morning, whilst most people were still at home in their beds, the #PandaCrew had come from all over Jo'burg and Pretoria to gather at the #PandaCrew HQ. Always amazing to be greeted with some coffee and freshly baked vegetarian banana bread and vegan bran muffins, baked by #PandaCrewMom, Dawn Smit. (Thank You @PandaCrewMom)

And we headed off, in loaded cars, to the Vanderbijlpark SPCA. Naturally, the #PandaCrew always have a jam session in a car whenever going anywhere! From Cher to Mark Ronson, you are bound to hear the music as they arrive. Out on a small gravel road we turned off into the SPCA parking and all enthusiastic we jumped out the cars ready to change a little bit of the world just a little bit more.

Just some info on the SPCA, so that you have an actual idea of what it is that they do.
 - Prevent cruelty to animals and confiscating abused or neglected animals.
 - Enforce laws that protect animal rights through inspectorate.
 - Provide caring treatment and comfortable shelter for neglected and abandoned animals that are admitted to the Animal Care Centre.
 - Provide veterinary care to animals of the poorer communities.
 - Promote humane and compassionate care of animals through education and awareness programmes.
 - Find loving and caring homes for animals through the adoption service.
 - Reunite lost animals with owners through a lost-and-found service.
 - Sterilisation campaigns to reduce the overpopulation of animals.
 - Disaster relief to save animals affected by natural disasters and accidents.

The day was aimed at doing something for those who have no voice.
The animals that are abandoned.
The animals that are thrown away and left for dead.
The animals that have no home.
The animals that have no loving family to make happy.
The animals that have been abused.
The animals that have been taken from situations which would have ultimately caused their death.

I have always fought against any form of abuse. But abuse against animals is most probably the highest on the list if I had to prioritise them. My reasoning for this is that a human being can still do something about any abuse which they encounter. Any animal has no voice and they can't stand up for themselves and they can do nothing about it. They are helpless. And this is why today is about doing something for those who don't have a voice.

The #PandaCrew has this motto right.
"No One Gets Left Behind!"
And by "No One", we mean no one! Not even the animals.

After a quick walkabout around the premises and seeing all the cute canines that are being looked after, the #PandaCrew offloaded 23 blankets, approximately 180kg of dog food, toys for the dogs, cleaning detergents, cement, polyfilla, shelving and naturally the paint used by the #PandaCrew on the day along with a cash donation for the SPCA to use for other items they needed.

The time for the #PandaCrew's inner artists to emerge had arrived. We proceeded to scrape down walls to prepare them for a fresh coat of paint. I think the biggest entertainment was seeing who was most scared of the spiders that had made webs in the roof of each kennel. Every now and then you would hear a scream or a nervous shout followed by someone sprinting out of the kennels onto the grass for safety from the 8 legged creatures. (I wish we could have filmed all of those moments and made a blooper reel for the video, we would get so many hits!) Everyone was doing something. We painted walls with rollers and brushes alike and this naturally caused the inner child of the each of the guys from the #PandaCrew to come out and before we knew it, everyone had been slapped on the arm or leg with a brush full of the grey paint. It was actually so much fun, and I think that all of us would regard the day as a day of fun and laughter and not of work. And in my eyes, that means it was a good day.

We even helped out and put up some new shelving inside the cattery for the kittens. This is where Barry and I found ourselves waiting outside under the tree since we would have ended up with red itchy eyes and runny noses and sneezing from allergies. So we just snuck in to snap a few pics of the other guys hard at work.

And in true African style, this was a proper summer's day. The sun was shining down and it was hot. All of us had broken into a bit of a sweat at some point of the day. But at the end of the day it was all worth it and the feeling that comes over you once you look at the finished product was just amazing and the sense of accomplishment just overwhelming. We had made a difference. We had achieved our goal. And what would a day like this be, without a braai and a #PandaCrew chill session by the pool.

At the end of the day, Nicolaas posted this on Facebook and I only realised after reading it, just how true it was. "Somewhere around midday it became quiet for a couple of minutes - which rarely happens with all of us together. At this moment, while everyone was busy painting and cleaning kennels, I realised how special this is. No one had to be there. No one was forced. No one was asked. Each of these guys spent their Sunday making a difference because they wanted to." And how true is that. Each of us involved loved being there every moment and doing whatever we were doing. It was such a humbling experience that I am grateful to have had with such an amazing group of people.

We helped out at only this one SPCA, but there are many more right accross the country that are in need of help just like this. The Vanderbijlpark SPCA goes through over 1.5 Tons of dog food in a month to feed the dogs that are there. That is a lot of dog food. Just think about the SPCA's out there that are not getting any donations and how you could help out. So please go ahead and find out where your closest SPCA is and head over to a grocery store and get a bag of dog or cat food and drop it off at the offices. I promise you, they will be over the moon that someone has helped them out this month. Make that your #RAK15. So I challenge everyone reading this post today to go on out there and participate in the Random Act of Kindess initiative for 2015. Be it one tin of food or a whole bag. That little bit. That random act of kindness is something that won't go unnoticed.

You can go ahead and make a donation into the #PandaCrew Fund and by using the reference #PandaSPCA we can use this money to buy food and other essential items for the Vanderbijlpark SPCA.

Banking Details:
Account Number - 1401 79 60 77
Branch Code - 47 001 0
Capitec Savings Account
Please make sure that you use the reference #PandaSPCA

And the #PandaCrew website is now officially LIVE! So go check it out and have a look. We are looking forward to hearing from you. We have so many exciting things to share with you guys. Be sure to check out the #PandaCrew swag and become part of this incredible initiative. 100% of the profits we make from all the sales of these items goes straight back into the charity events and to the people we help. So please go on and get yourself some #PandaCrew swag to add to your cupboard today so that you can help us help a Panda in need tomorrow!

Follow #PandaCrew on Twitter: @_PandaCrew_
Follow me on Twitter: @Lloydi_Boy
Check out the #PandaCrew website:
Check out my #RAK15 video here: LloydiBoy #RAK15

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