If your parents have ever compared you to another child and their accomplishments, while you secretly cringed, that other child is likely to be Gareth Dahl who has raised R23 800 for charity, picked up the Lead SA Youth Hero award and been selected for the Western Cape under-16 shore angling team.
The Grade 8 Curro Century City school pupil completed the 10km KFM Gun Run on Sunday October 16 to raise money for Peanut Animal Welfare in Melkbosstrand.
Gareth went door to door asking people to sponsor each kilometre he ran. He also sold prizes given to him by the businesses he canvassed for support to raise money.
The result was a substantial windfall for Peanut Animal Welfare, and almost double the R12 500 he raised for the organisation running the Gun Run last year.
“I wanted to help the organisation because they do not receive any support from government, and they have to find funds to pay for their vet bills and animal food,” said Gareth.
The humble young man is no stranger to charity work and said he had been working at giving back to the community since the tender age of two.
He recalls taking cake and hand-drawn pictures to the fire station in Melkbosstrand, where he lives, to support the hard-working firefighters.
“When I was younger, I would take Christmas parcels to the Seapark old age home which I did for two years. I was eight years old then. In Grade 6, I did bigger stuff and raised funds for charities.
“I did a blanket and food collection for Lucky Lucy and a sport gear collection for Sporting Chance and a clothing and toy collection for Home of Hope.
“I am also president of the Curro Century City Rotary Interact Club, and we took 10 of the Home of Hope children to Ratanga,” said Gareth as his cheeks flushed.
Asked why he felt the need to help others, he said: “I don’t like to see people and animals on the road. It makes me feel better when I help.
“I especially love to help animals and children.”
It is no shock to anyone but Gareth that he received the Lead SA Youth Hero award for his hard work and dedication for helping others.
Gareth said he had been clueless about his nomination and was shocked when he got the award in May.
He has started his own charity, Helping with Hands, on Facebook to encourage others to follow his lead and lend a helping hand.
The charity focuses on helping other organisations that do not get state sponsorship.
Gareth’s next goal is to complete the 21km Gun Run next year and raise more money for charity. Visit Gareth’s Facebook page Garethhelping5 to learn more about his charity work.