Meet this quarter’s Humanstate Hero: Angelo Lawrence

July 2, 2020
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For Angelo Lawrence, an 11-year Humanstate veteran and PayProp South Africa Client Support Specialist, long-time service to the company and our customers is not enough.

To live out a desire to serve the needs of his fellow human beings, he’s also a founder and director of the Kylemore Charity Foundation (KCF) – and that makes him this quarter’s Humanstate Hero.

We caught up with Angelo and asked him to share his experience setting up KCF and ensuring it delivers on its promise to bring hope to those in need.

What is KCF doing for the community at the moment?

KCF is a community outreach and events company that hosts fundraisers to financially support our ongoing initiatives. One such event, The Family Festival, had to be cancelled due to lockdown – but by then we had already paid our suppliers. This, as you can imagine, led to huge financial losses for our organisation.

Despite the setback, we had to step up and look at other ways to help others. Life was literally brought to a standstill for us all and the community was in dire need of help during this humanitarian crisis.

One way we came up with to continue helping was to do a crowdfunding campaign via the tried and trusted GivenGain platform. We received support from all over the globe and in particular from my colleagues here at Humanstate, who without hesitation dug deep into their pockets to help fund this campaign.

The income generated allowed us to bring relief to around 400 families with a weekly food hamper, toiletries and an electricity voucher. We were also able to include a data bundle which provided free online access to Grade 12 learners at Kylemore High School. The school has been shut due to COVID-19, and this gave the learners access to their school’s online curriculum instead.

To celebrate the end of the project on Saturday 19 June, Rugby World Champion Herschel Jantjies joined us to prepare a winter curry special for the elderly. This was a really nice way to end things off as life slowly begins to return to normal, with lockdown rules being eased in South Africa.

Herschel, being a good friend and ambassador of Kylemore, opened up doors for us – we even had a visit from Springboks captain Siya Kolisi!

Why did you do it?

As a God-fearing person, it is my duty and responsibility to love my neighbour as I love myself. COVID-19 gave me another opportunity to reach out. I just wish that we could have done more!

What did you gain?

It is amazing how limitless kindness can be. The pandemic gave me an opportunity to reach out to our brothers and sisters and lend a helping hand.

It also showed me how short life can be. The weekend gone by, I was involved in a small community project (see images where some of us cooked up a storm). Before our activities kicked off, we had to say our last goodbyes to a dear friend who had sadly passed away. Late that night, another call was received to alert us to the sad farewell of another dearly loved one from our community.

An extract from Proverbs 27:10 says it nicely. “Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend, and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbour who is near than a brother who is far away.”

Any advice for others wanting to get more involved and helping their community through GivenGain?

When I started working at PayProp back in 2009, I used to look forward to our Monday morning meetings. Sometimes we had cake, especially when GivenGain Chairman Frans's wife celebrated her birthday, but a line that will stick with me forever is André's, then PayProp SA's CEO, signoff at the end of each meeting: “Right guys, let’s go and change the world”.

If you want to change the world, do so, one person at a time. Go out and do something small for your neighbour, even if it is only a little smile. That smile alone could change someone’s world for a day – or forever.

Note: PayProp and GivenGain are Humanstate group companies.