Name: Claudia Ferreira
Charity involved in: Santa Cause for Paws
How long have you been involved here: Co-founded it in 2013 (This year is our 8th drive)
Where is the charity based: All over South Africa
Tell us a bit more about what you do: Santa Cause for Paws collects gifts for shelter animals and animals in outreach. People can sponsor a specific animal on our Facebook page, and we shop and pack the gift for them, with their name on the tag. Or people can pledge a dog, cat, kitten or puppy gift on our website, which they shop for and pack and deliver to one of our many drop off points. We are fully volunteer run, pretty much all of the admin is done by Claudia, Cheronne and Anita, who have full time jobs and fit in the admin after hours. We have many amazing elves helping shop and pack all the goodies and delivering them all over South Africa. Our main drive is over the Christmas period, but we work throughout the year raising funds with auctions, our online gift shop and hosting competitions. We love spreading the joy to animals and also taking some of the burden off charities during the festive season. Each gift contains 5 items, two things yum (food and treat), something warm, something fun, something useful and an optional something for shelter staff. My mom stores a lot of the stuff at her house each year in preparation for the big deliveries, so we don’t have to pay storage fees.
What do you love about what you do: Spreading joy to shelter animals, feral cats and animals in outreach areas. Seeing all the animals receive treats and toys, whilst at the same time helping pay vet bills, donate food, cleaning products and more to the charities.
Are you a cat or a dog person: I am absolutely a cat and dog person! One simply cannot choose!
What is your favourite pet quote or saying: “We can see the heart of a person by the treatment of their animals.”
How many pets do you have at home: I have 3 cats and 2 dogs, all adopted from various shelters.
Most memorable moment in charity: The very first year, we started with a target of 100 gift boxes and 10 charities in Gauteng. We received over 2500 gift boxes from physical and monetary donations. Our expectations were blown away and since then we have grown to include most provinces and over 120 beneficiaries each year. It is so humbling to see the care and effort people put into the gifts.
Anything else you’d like to add: We sell personalised baubles, mugs, treat buckets and more, all profits help the animals.
Thank you so much for the opportunity, love all the great work you do helping the animals.