08 May 2019

My 'Good Deeds' For March and April 2019

At the start of January I shared a post about my New Year's Resolution to try and spread more happiness by completing at least one 'good deed' per month (if you haven't seen it already you can check that out here). Here's the summary of the good deeds I completed in March and April.

I donated to the Cyclone Idai Appeal:
On the 14th of March Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique, shortly followed by Cyclone Kenneth on the 25th of April. Cyclone Idai swept through Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Across the three countries more than 900 people have been killed and around 3 million desperately need help. The U.N. children’s agency estimates that 1.5 million children are affected. More than 230,000 people remain displaced. Idai is the strongest cyclone on record in the Southern Hemisphere and this is the first time in recorded history that two strong tropical cyclones have hit Mozambique in the same season.

Cyclone Idai brought strong winds and caused widespread flooding which has ripped apart roads, bridges, houses, schools and medical facilities. Aid workers are now working to clear debris, reopen roads and reconnect electricity and water supplies. However Mozambique is trying to recover from yet another natural disaster (Cyclone Kenneth) so the response capacity is very overwhelmed. A growing number of Cholera cases have also been confirmed (as well as high risks of outbreaks of other waterborne diseases) due to the significant challenge of supplying clean water.

The government and aid effort are prioritising the delivery of clean water, building toilets and hand washing facilities in an attempt to tackle the Cholera outbreak. They are also delivering emergency shelter materials, blankets, food and urgent health assistance.
(If you'd like to donate here's the link

• I adopted a penguin for 12 months:
I purchased an adoption pack from Gift Republic who are working with the Galapagos Conservation Trust, a registered charity that helps Galapagos Penguins by conserving their habitat. The Galapagos Conservation Trust are the only UK charity that focuses on the conservation and sustainability of the Galapagos Islands. Launched in 1995, they raise awareness of Galapagos conservation both in the UK and Ecuador. By raising funds and awareness in the UK GCT can help contribute to the overall management of the unique Galapagos ecosystem both on land and in the Galapagos Marine Reserve. GCT has a vision to sustain, protect and conserve the unique nature and beauty of the Galapagos.

The adoption pack itself included; a penguin postcard, a Galapagos island map, an endangered Galapagos fact sheet, a penguin facts and figures sheet, a Galapagos penguins leaflet and a personalised supporter certificate is sent to you after you've registered your pack. The money you spend when you purchase the adoption pack is used by the charity to help conserve the penguins habitat (1 pack = 'adopting' 1 penguin for 12 months).

Here's some facts about the Galapagos Penguins themselves;
• They have an estimated population of around 2,000.
• Their average height is 19 to 21 inches.
• Their average weight is 3.75 to 5.75 lb.
• Their average lifespan is 15 to 20 years.
• They are the only species of penguin found as far north as the equator (where the climate is warm and tropical).
• Their diet primarily consists of schooling fish such as anchovies, sardines and mullet but they also eat non-schooling fish, squid and small crustaceans.
• They hold their flippers out while sleeping to help heat escape their bodies.
• They mate for life and can breed up to 3 times a year.
• They can swim over 32km per hour, stay under water for 20 minutes and dive as deep as 900 metres.
• Their biggest threats are invasive species and climate change. El Nino (a naturally occurring phenomenon that results in the water around the Galapagos becoming warmer) dramatically affects food availability, reduced breeding success and decline in penguin population.

*I'll upload a picture of my certificate once I receive it*

I donated to Sarah's Go Fund Me campaign:
Sarah became a wheelchair user almost 2 years ago due to ME, POTS, malnutrition from Gastroparesis, severe pain from scoliosis and joint problems. These (and various other) things combined means she now struggles to walk more than a few metres, or stand for more than a few minutes, without fatigue, tachycardia, chest pain, breathlessness, severe pain and even fainting. All this means that she now needs to use a wheelchair for almost everything.

Her current wheelchair isn't suitable for her needs (she's unable to lift it in and out of the car by herself or self propel for very long) so she's seeing wheelchair services who are funding an active user chair (this will be much lighter than her current wheelchair) and it will also help her to regain some independence. Wheelchair services are providing the wheelchair itself but Sarah is fundraising for items that will massively improve her life and enable her to get the best possible use from her wheelchair but wheelchair services are unable to fund them. These include:

-> A SmartDrive power assist device;
Due to her lack of strength to self propel on uneven ground this would enable her to do so much more independently and would also make steep or long hills more manageable for her or the person pushing her. 

-> Mountain bike wheels and a FreeWheel;
Mountain bike wheels and a FreeWheel combined would enable her to get "off road" onto grass, uneven ground and gravelly footpaths. This would enable Sarah to get back out into the countryside, which she's currently unable to enjoy as most places are inaccessible to a standard wheelchair.

-> Wheel bag and frame guards;
The wheel bag would be used to store the mountain bike wheels in to prevent mud from getting in the car or house after use. Frame guards would help prevent the wheelchair's paintwork getting damaged by things like loose gravel being thrown up by the movement of the wheels.
(If you'd like to donate here's the link

• I donated a box of 40 wet food pouches to my local cat rescue sanctuary (Rugley Cats Society):
My local cat rescue sanctuary recently ran so low on supplies and funds that they had to announce that they couldn't take in anymore more cats for the foreseeable future. They simply didn't have the funds to pay for any vetenary treatment and care (they were just about managing to continue looking after those already in their care). In the entire 6 years since they were founded they'd never had to turn a cat away...

This news was heartbreaking to hear as Rugley Cats Society is well loved in our community and has helped so many people. Thankfully it wasn't long before everyone rallied together and gathered enough supplies and donated enough money for them to be able to continue to take in cats! I personally donated a large box of 40 Sheba wet food pouches. RCS does so much to help cats in our community from providing vetenary care to re-homing them even helping people find their lost cats, so I'm really glad that the community came together to help support them back.

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