Jacaranda FM’s Good Morning Angels Donates R200,000 To The Brave Humans And Dogs Digging Through The George Building Collapse Rubble

Jacaranda FM’s Good Morning Angels Donates R200,000 To The Brave Humans And Dogs Digging Through The George Building Collapse Rubble
Warrant Officer Willie Visser and K9 Abbey. Image source: SAPS

The nation remains gripped by the tragic building collapse in George over the weekend, resulting in the loss of several lives. As rescue operations persist, Jacaranda FM‘s uplifting initiative, Good Morning Angels, is taking action to effect change. The program is contributing significantly, with a generous donation of R200,000 to the Gift of the Givers, who are spearheading the rescue efforts.

As the rescue mission continues, the true heroes of the recovery mission are emerging. Over 200 personnel from different services have been working shifts in the difficult-to-navigate and unsafe rubble of the construction site in Victoria Street, where the building collapsed last week Monday.

Assisting in the mammoth effort are specially trained sniffer dogs from the SAPS K9 Search and Rescue Unit, volunteers of the K9 Search and Rescue Association of South Africa (SARA), and the Gift of the Givers K9 Unit. At noon this past Saturday – five days after the building crumbled into a heap of metal, concrete chunks, and dust – there was joy on the morbid site: a man emerged alive after W/O Willie Visser’s dog, Abbey, picked up his scent, and W/O Riaan le Roux’s dog Rex confirmed the find.

Gift of the Givers has been instrumental in supplying the SAPS and emergency services with dogs to assist in disaster relief, as well as other policing tasks. The organization has secured 60 K9 dogs of various breeds for the South African Police Service (SAPS) and another 50 dogs to enhance border security efforts. These dogs are all in training.

Mario Ferreira, Gift of the Givers’ Head representative in the Southern Cape region, has been at the disaster site in George since an hour after the collapse last week Monday. He says the teams work under very difficult conditions, but they are determined and motivated by all the support they have received. Some of their K9-unit dogs are also at the scene. One of their dogs was injured when his paw was cut in the rubble. A second dog has been struggling with severe trauma. He confirmed that dogs trained in South Africa as sniffer dogs have the unique ability to distinguish if the humans they detect are alive or not. Mario says this makes these dogs world leaders in their field and invaluable in a situation where time can mean the difference between life and death.

In a bid to assist the incredible humans and dogs working tirelessly on the site, Jacaranda FM’s The Good Morning Angels Listener Fund has assisted the Gift of the Givers in their efforts in George and elsewhere with a donation of R100,000.00 to assist with whatever is needed for the rescue and recovery workers and survivors. The Fund will also donate an additional R100,000 towards the specialized K9 Unit and efforts of Gift of the Givers to help with training and caring for these invaluable furry team members.

“I think it’s incredible how the Gift Of The Givers come to the rescue – literally, especially when it comes to these specially trained dogs used in the rescue efforts in the George building collapse tragedy. I didn’t know that they have gifted the SAPS K9 unit more than 100 of these specially trained dogs that are world-class and, on top of that, assist victims and their families,” Jacaranda FM’s Martin Bester shares.

The radio DJ adds “This story has captured the attention of all South Africans and, watching from afar, we ask ourselves how we can help. At Jacaranda FM, we believe that we can do a world of good by using our Good Morning Angels Fund to able and assist the Gift of The Givers in their efforts. A huge thank you to every person who supports our fundraising efforts and every single person who reached out and asked us to get involved and support those on the ground. We hope for the best and for more miracles and we are proud to support Gift Of The Givers, all the emergency personnel on the scene, the dogs, their handlers and everybody on the scene of this devastating tragedy in George. My gratitude goes out to every single person who supports Jacaranda FM’s Good Morning Angels initiative. We are doing this on your behalf.”

Listen to Good Morning Angels every Wednesday morning on Jacaranda FM’s Breakfast With Martin Bester.