• Samuel Deguara

charity: donating a full truck of household things

Updated: Jun 16, 2019

I donated a filled up truck full of different household stuff to the charity organisation "Happy Paws" from Malta, a NGO which is providing medical and emergency care, as well as free neutering and spaying of Maltese stray dogs and cats, in their dedicated veterinary clinic.

... after starting to unload the stuff- feeling good

Since Happy Paws opened in 2008, it helps various household animals by offering competitively priced veterinary services for private owners, and for those on social benefits Happy Paws offers special discounts where medication is offered at cost price as well as a significant discount on the veterinary fee.

It has managed to neuter roughly 15,000 strays and treated over 50,000 animals (number end 2017), both private and stray.

The NGO is the brainchild of Maike Beekmann, a Dutch national who has settled here in Malta, a hardworking and very kind woman, selfless and with the urge to help the ones in need.

“We cannot help everyone, but everyone can help someone." - Dr. Loretta Scott

I was cleaning up a flat, loaded with all kinds of different things. From kitchen and bathroom utensils, to office and bedroom stuff, glasses, decoration, paintings, household appliances and all kinds of electronic devices etcetera. I had no use for these things, neither had my family, so I wanted to help as many with the collected stuff as possible. It took some while searching for the (from my point of view) best solution, a way to help people and animals in need at the same time. Then I stumbled over the charity organisation Happy Paws.

Happy Paws is run by volunteers to raise funds for animals in need by, for example, selling second hand things in one of their shops.

And this is what I did- I gave them all the things I had from the flat. They can sell them on to people who either have lower income so they can find great stuff for living at affordable prices or either people who just love the "second hand livestyle" and all that comes with it.

With the income of the selling, the NGO is funding the work for the animals.

The Charity Shop, which opened in Mensija Street, San Gwann, opposite "Martin il-Furnar", is stocked with donations from individuals and shops. Items include clothes, books, children's goods, records and CDs, ornaments, and sports Equipment and so on in very good condition and priced to sell. The shop is especially popular with collectors. Happy Paws started to compile a list of collectors of items ranging from porcelain angels to books about motorbikes, and informs collectors that items have been put aside for them.

One of the organisation's first initiatives was a "supermarket scheme" - customers in supermarkets were asked to buy an extra tin of dog or cat food to be distributed to feeders of colonies of stray animals around Malta.

The scheme aims to help feeders neuter the strays - feeding without neutering just creates more strays. Happy Paws issues vouchers to feeders for spaying or neutering.

The shop is run by volunteers on a roster, who meet every couple of months to discuss Happy Paws matters. They believe in sharing responsibility equally.

Happy Paws is the first NGO in Malta that accepts donations in Bitcoin.

"More and more people are using Bitcoin as a way of payment so we made it possible to donate in this new currency. We are very grateful for every donation because it lets us offer free neutering for strays which helps to decrease the amount of abandoned animals on the streets in Malta." the NGO said in 2017.

I like that they are using all possible ways of helping as many (people and animals) as possible, from the most simplest to the most modern and complex ones.

That dedication and hard work is something that I really admire- stepping back from time to time from being only focused on myself and my wellbeing, to look around, wherever this might be in the world, and giving my best to help the ones in need.

Have a look at their Homepage, check out how you can help too, from Malta or from abroad.


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