So I was chatting away to Charlie, and Charlie was listening intently, and then - out of the blue - she offered to donate the full £70.00 I need to transport the shoes to Africa! I swear I'm not making this up, she really did! :-) I cannot express properly how much this gesture meant to me, nor the warm feeling that flooded me at that moment. I know I run the risk of sounding quite 'hippy' by saying this but ... there is so much goodness and love in this world, and I have seen it in action in its purest form these past few weeks. Charlie is never going to go to Africa to visit this school; she will not be able to see with her own eyes the children's smiles when they are given their shoes; she won't sit in a classroom and witness for herself how the school supplies are being used and see how eager those children are to learn. I don't suppose any of my generous donors will have this opportunity, much less my canine neighbour. Strangers helping strangers - with nothing to gain in return - that is beautiful!
So, from the bottom of my heart which is now absolutely fit to burst, thank you Charlie. That is a huge weight lifted off me and I am very very touched by this. I know that when I am presented with an opportunity to pull a rabbit out of a hat for a friend, I will reflect on your kindness and "pay it forward".