The media is often blamed for spreading nothing but doom and gloom, but we all love those feel-good stories that tug the heart-strings and remind us of our own humanity, especially when they’re served to us on a plate.
And if that plate is offered by Food Network’s darling, our own beloved Jenny Morris, and it’s filled with scrumptious delights from her Yumcious Café, and it’s all part of creating a dream for a child with a life-threatening illness, then the media happily pulls together to communicate something special and uplifting.
Busisiwe Mabedla is a 16-year-old girl from Betty’s Bay who suffers from Autoimmune Enteropathy, a rare disorder of the immune system that affects infants and young children, causing morbidities of the digestive tract.
An avid cook and an aspiring young chef, Busi met the team from the Reach For A Dream Foundation while she was at Red Cross Children’s hospital and shared her dream of wanting to meet her hero, Chopped SA judge Jenny Morris and to learn to cook with her. Reach for a Dream and Jenny Morris then wasted no time in making Busi’s dream come true.
When I heard about Busi’s dream we pulled it together and made it happen within less than a week. We got her her own Chef’s Jacket and she’s going to be cooking live on television with me.
“For something like this, to create a once in a lifetime experience, there is such strength in the media. The media can just pull things together. When I heard about Busi’s dream we pulled it together and made it happen within less than a week. We got her her own Chef’s Jacket and she’s going to be cooking live on television with me. It’s thanks to the power of the media that we could make her dream happen,” says Jenny.
Jessica West, the Western Cape ‘dream co-ordinator’ from the Reach for a Dream Foundation is grateful to the media for the support the organisation receives.
“The media assists and supports us to get our message out into the community, especially when it comes to donors and sponsors when we have special requests for dreams. When we contact local businesses with requests for dreams they know who we are and what the Foundation stands for and they’re always more than willing to assist us because we’re a well-known brand.
“Media exposure also helps us with families referring children with a life-threatening illness, that haven’t come through our regular network of hospitals. The media has helped us reach a greater audience than we could ever hope to reach through our own local networks,” she says.
Jenny is known for being big-hearted, generous and giving. “It’s not just a responsibility that comes with being a media personality. I’ve always supported causes whether it’s animal welfare, the aged, children, or people in need, I have always believed in giving back. I come from a family of givers,” she says.
She’s grateful to the media as a tool for amplifying the message and drawing attention to the plights and causes of those in need, that might otherwise be overlooked by the public.
However when it comes to celebrities and causes Jenny is adamant that it must be something that they are truly passionate about and believe in. “It’s got to be sincere and honest and not about you, but about the people you’re helping. It’s not about basking in the limelight. Either do it from your heart, or don’t do it at all,” she says.
“Every photo I’ve seen of Busi is a photo of her cooking or baking something. She’s so creative and such a keen cook. I’m really looking forward to getting into the kitchen with her. I just hope she doesn’t chop me today!”
Busi and Jenny’s cooking adventures will air on SABC 3’s The Weekend Edition on Sunday 14 August 6.30am-9am.
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