As freely as crew members at Station 20, Shelly Beach, give their time to assist those in trouble at sea, so are they giving of their own funds to support people who assist those in trouble on land.
In this case, a volunteer animal rescue organisation, 4 Paws and a Tale.
It was pure coincidence that this organisation came to the attention of the crew. A recreation club on the KZN south coast invited the station commander, Mark Harlen, to attend a function so that they could make a donation to the NSRI. Johnny and Nicky Koekemoer from 4 Paws and a Tale animal rescue were at the same function to receive a similar donation. As with the NSRI, their animal rescue work is funded solely by donations and sponsorships and is based on good will and support from the community.
Every Thursday evening when the crew meets for training, they make a small contribution to the “cookie fund”. These contributions go towards funding the year-end Crew Awards Evening. At one of the meetings, it was decided that the funds donated to the cookie fund for the year-end function could be better used by sending a bag of dog food to 4 Paws and a Tale every month.
“It was the generous and spontaneous sort of gesture that I have come to expect from the crew. It is literally a case of the carers caring for the carers. We are going to try to donate a 25kg bag of dog food to them every 4-6 weeks”, Harlen said.
The first 25kg bag of dog food purchased with funds from the “cookie fund” was handed over to Johnny and Nicky Koekemoer on 10 November by Mark Harlen and Cathy Rolt, Station 20 crew member.