Lesson’s I Learned Volunteering For Charity

I’ve been doing volunteer work with Love-A-Bull SA,, in the form of running their Twitter and Instagram accounts for the last three months or so. And it’s been an incredibly interesting experience!

I feel like I have grown so much as a person in this process.

All I’m donating is my time. I pretty much take what is posted on the Love-A-Bull SA Facebook page and repurpose it into a more suitable format for Love-A-Bull SA on Instagram ,and Love-A-Bull SA on Twitter,. In the next couple of week’s I will also be redoing their website into a more user friendly format. So really, it’s not like I’m a hero or anything, I’m not in the trenches doing the real hero work, as much as I’d love to be. 

But even so, it can be soul destroying!

There was a period at the beginning of the year, where just no dogs were being adopted. And I started feeling like what was even the point! All this time and all this effort and yet almost 70 dogs sit there, day in and day out! Thankfully the tide on that seems to have turned and there’ve been quite a few adoptions in the last few week’s, including some old timers who have been waiting literally YEARS for a suitable home!

It’s like riding a roller-coaster!

With the highest high’s and the lowest lows!

Last weekend, I had this idea to try and do a blanket drive for Love-A-Bull. While they are a registered NPO (Love-A-Bull SA (NPO 184 681), they get no government funding and rely solely on donations from the public. Now for those of you who don’t know the Pit Bull breed well, they don’t actually have fur, they have hair and they don’t grow thick winter coats, so I wanted to try and get a bit of a blanket drive going to see if we could get more blankets to them to keep the doggies warm in the freezing winter months up here on the Highveld.

I decided to use my Blessed Barreness audience to help spread the word and I was both elated, horrified, shocked, humbled and happy with the results!

People have blown me away!

Not only has that post been viewed over 20 000 times, it’s also been shared over 300 times. Readers who rounded up their friends to make donations!

A PR Agency ,came on board and donated money for me to buy blankets! Once of my contacts at another PR Agency, Cathy, made a donation directly to Love-A-Bull SA in her personal capacity. Another online friend, got her husbands company involved, they donated dog food bowls and beds and allowed me to buy 40 blankets from them at cost!  So by the time we arrived at the Love-A-Bull Fun(d) Walk on Sunday, we had 60 blankets to donate! I had hoped to collect 100 blankets by June! 


Yet another friend came on board and used her PR contacts to get Love-A-Bull included as a shared beneficiary of a charity event, The Polar Bear Plunge in George where blankets donated will come to Love-A-Bull SA!

But it can be stressful too!

On my Facebook page, someone accused me of being a scammer trying to scam people out of money. I was so upset and so angry and tried to reason with her, showing her all the links to Love-A-Bull SA, showing her the NPO number and she refused to budge, calling me a scam artist because I wouldn’t disclose the physical address of Love-A-Bull SA.

So here’s the thing though, because Love-A-Bull are breed specific, and by breed I mean, they specialise in the placement of Pit Bull’s and responsible Pit Bull ownership. They’ve received a lot of attention from people who would, shall we say….. NEVER be considered as suitable homes for the dogs. Even on the Instagram and Twitter accounts I’ve had to field queries from people who you can tell immediately, have ulterior motives for wanting to adopt a Pit Bull. In addition, there are dogs there that will remain there pending criminal cases and it’s for this reason the location is never disclosed. No matter how much I tried to reason with this woman, she wouldn’t hear it. She was not interested in logic, only in dragging my reputation through the mud and hurling unfounded accusations at me. 

Don’t buy into stereotypes!

That’s a biggie for me. There are two people I am dealing with who have offered to assist in fund raising and networking the dogs. Both of them I was highly suspicious of, I’m ashamed to say, because I bought into all the stupid stereotypes, which is so ridiculously counterproductive when I’m involved in Pit Bull rescue, probably the most demonized and misunderstood breed currently.

One of the men is a photographer, the other is a EFC fighter, both of them have offered their time, money, reputations and skills to assist Love-A-Bull and the first thing I will do when I meet both of them is apologise for the stereotyping.

People have been amazing.

And kind and compassionate and helpful and generous. They’ve also been indifferent and rude and so many other things.

This whole charity gig, as much as I am loving it, gives me the highest highs and the most crushing lows!

But most importantly…

Not only do I feel like I am following my passion, I also feel like I’m teaching my children so many lessons in the process, about commitment and determination and compassion and a love for animals. And if they can learn that from this and we can continue to find these beautiful and deserving dogs a home, then I feel I will have succeeded!


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