By Chrischele Alberts
If you’ve been following my journey, in Post 1 I shared about how I got involved with Colleen’s Place of Hope and in Post 2 you learnt a little bit more about Colleen, the driving force behind this amazing place. In today’s post, I’d like to share more about how my involvement with Colleen’s Place of Hope has forcefully jolted me out of my comfort zone.
By far my biggest challenge was to overcome my feelings of inadequacy in facing such huge social giants. What really helped me was, firstly, having an employer who places a high premium on social upliftment, secondly, being part of a wonderful faith community, Common Ground Church (CGC), where we’re constantly challenged to respond to issues of poverty and injustice and, lastly, seeing how Colleen ”just got on with it” despite the odds. Putting them together, I came to realise that my “giants” weren’t that daunting after all.
So, this is how I responded…
One of the first things I did was to rally support for Colleen for the Shoprite Checkers Women of the Year Award in 2010. We made sure she was nominated for the “Good Neighbours” category, and got friends to support our nomination for this award. Colleen was selected out of hundreds of nominees to make it in as one of the top three finalists in her category. As one of the finalists, she was flown to Johannesburg for a well-deserved weekend break complete with all the trimmings. This gave her national exposure and some desperately needed funding.
I also enlisted the help of one of my colleagues, Tanya Rossouw, who is actively involved in Live to Race, a non-profit organisation with a passion for children and a keen interest in cars. They hold events at Killarney which give vulnerable children an opportunity to experience the thrill of motor racing. During one of our chats, Tanya invited Colleen’s Place of Hope to their next event.
I put the request for help to my family and our young’uns (as I fondly refer to them). Six beautiful young ladies, my girls included, responded. We arrived in convoy to take the children to Killarney. We had an amazing time – the organizers were fantastic and the children were gobsmacked by the whole experience.
Getting an opportunity to race around the track at full speed in modified racing cars was truly an experience of a lifetime! For the young’uns, it was a humbling experience and “unexpectedly rewarding” as one of them put it. We’ve done this two years in a row now and it looks set to become a highlight in our family’s calendar!