Firstly, and in the least selfish sounding way possible, us.
We are the Cawthra-Hanes'. A like-minded, animal-obsessed, alternative-loving couple that some would describe as written in the stars. We happened to meet as young teens and fell in love when we probably shouldn't have even been able to comprehend what love was. But like all fairy tales (at least the ones that actually come true), we were just meant to be. And so, after years of distance, heartbreak, tears, and time spent apart, we finally found ourselves united in the same city, and madly in love once again.
488 days ago Darren grazed his knee asking me to be his forever partner, but instead of a big wedding, and a fancy house with kids and all the gadgets, we dream of giving animals in need a place to call home.
On our path to saving towards this dream, and just when we felt we were finally finding our feet in Cape Town, Darren walked in on two men robbing our home of all our belongings. He was locked in our bathroom, fearing for his life, while these men cleaned us out for pretty much all that we were worth. When I got the call from him telling me what had happened, and the fact that all our uninsured possessions were gone (hindsight is 20/20, right?), all I asked was whether he or our beloved cage-free secret apartment rabbits were harmed. I've always said 'it's just stuff', but in this moment I truly realised that it is just 'stuff'. And it doesn't matter, but boy does it take a long time to get back on your feet again. It's taken us almost two years to gather that 'stuff' again, and yeah we've been set back, but it's only made our vision clearer.
So here it goes (eek):
We dream of buying a plot of land that we transform into an animal sanctuary with a vegan cafe on the grounds to help us raise funds for the rescued fur babies (if you're anything like us and regularly donate to local rescues, you'll know how much it cost to run them - food, vet bills, equipment etc.). And while this dream seems like a distant reality, we've decided to reach out to anyone out there who shares a dream like ours, who has a passion for all living creatures, and who would be kind enough to put something towards making this possible. We need a lot. We wish we didn't, but in order to do it properly, we need land, building supplies, money for labour, kitchen & cafe equipment and a whole lot of other bits and bobs that turn out to be pretty damn expensive.
We won't plead, beg or pressure, but we figure that there's no harm in putting this out into the universe (and interweb) to see what happens. Maybe, just maybe, we'll get something towards the scary amount of initial capital we need, and perhaps, in turn, we can offer you a warm bowl of vegan goodness, and a cuddle with a previously homeless, hopefully soon-to-be home-having animal who's warm, happy and well fed.