As 2017 looms larger and we ready ourselves for the New Year, we can’t help but look back on 2016 and feel a little bit proud of what our Saving the Rhino project has achieved this year. And those achievements are thanks in large part to each of you reading this, our clients, and the micro-donations you’ve made via Pennies, the digital charity box.
Back in 2015, Medivet the Vets joined forces with Dr William Fowlds and the Wilderness Foundation to help save the rhino from the rising poaching crisis in South Africa. At the same time, we added Pennies to the tills in all our practices, offering every client the chance to make a micro-donation to the project when they paid their bill by card. After 12 months, we'd already reached an amazing milestone: 200,000 donations made, raising £100,000 for charity.
Now, just a few months later we’re celebrating the next milestone: 300,000 donations by the end of 2016. That’s 300,000 times someone in a Medivet practice has pressed ‘YES’ on the card terminal and opted to add an extra 50p to their bill, all for charity.
But what do that many donations really mean? Can you picture 300,000 people, let alone visualise 300,000 donations and the difference it can make? Well we’ve done the maths for you, and it’s the equivalent of every single person at this year’s Glastonbury Festival donating via Pennies TWICE, so it’s no wonder we think a few pennies can be a powerful thing.
All those tiny digital clicks of generosity add up and have raised nearly £150,000 for charity so far, making a huge difference for the Wilderness Foundation as they work to make our Saving the Rhino project a reality. Even a single day of micro-donations can have a significant impact, raising enough to keep a Bat Hawk plane in the sky for a day patrolling the South African game reserves to look out for rhino poachers and injured rhino.
And that’s not all. So far your donations have funded a number of initiatives including research projects to reduce the incidence of wildlife crime and aid in the prosecution of offenders; the training of detection dogs to deter poachers; the development of a dedicated facility to assist the field teams caring for orphaned baby rhinos; and paying for smaller, but no less important items, like equipment and medical supplies.
Without your donations and continued support, none of this would be possible. You’ve given your small change a truly big purpose this year so from everyone at Medivet, Pennies and the Wilderness Foundation we want to say a very big thank you (or perhaps 300,000 mini thank yous would be more appropriate!) for making your pennies count in 2016.