In under 1 hour, social media helps find Durban man who lost his driver's licence
Durban - The kind act of one Durban man has ended in the owner of lost driver's licence -- some 40 kilometers away -- being reunited with his property in under an hour. Both were complete strangers to each other.
On Monday morning, Vernon Hayes took to Facebook Group "Durban service - The good the bad and the nasty!" (Durban Service GBN) to post a picture of the licence (with all the personal information blocked out) and the story of how he found it.
He wrote: 'I know this doesn't apply but because the group has a vast amount of members, perhaps we can all band together and help out."
Within minutes, a member of that community replied saying she knew the driver and would contact him. Another person said they knew the owner's aunt and would contact her. Eventually, the owner managed to contact Mr. Hayes and they made arrangements to meet.
Mr. Haye's told Newsful on Monday afternoon that he figured he had a 50% chance of a social media post working. He said: "It's such a pain to get it (a licence) replaced. I lost my wallet before and it's no joke to get the license re-done with long qeues, eye tests..."
Vernon Hayes. Photo: Supplied
Mr. Hayes said he felt proud of himself for pursuing the effort to find the driver. "It's a trait that is hard to get rid of in my family. [If we] do at least one (good deed) every day, the good karma and positive energy will take care of the rest."
Durban Service GBN was started three years ago in March, by Colin Chester. It is split into three divisions that collectively reach more than 82,000 people*(see update).
The page's administrator, Amy Fisher, told Newsful Durban Service GBN was started to have a platform where great service providers could be recommended and unethical business practise could be exposed.
Ms. Fisher said, however, that the page "turned into so much more."
She said it wasn't uncommon for their members to rise to the assistance of others.
For example, a puppy whose paw was severely injured and who was in need of emergency surgery was sponsored the money for treatment from members on the page.
Another woman who found four bottles of expensive perfume in a luggage trolley at King Shaka International Airport also managed to track down the owner through the page. The owner said she purchased the items in Italy.
Then there was a lady took to the group to plead for donations of breast milk. Deborah Leask reached out to mothers in the community to assist with a very sick baby who was diagnosed with pyloric stenosis. It is a condition that causes an infant to vomit often and forcefully, leading to dehydration and loss of vital electrolytes which can cause muscle cramps and pain. Her appeal was met with an incredible response. Ms. Leask updated the group, writing: "...this little preemie is like a new baby, so much stronger and much more alert and now able to keep his feeds down. Thank you soo much (SIC) to this amazing community."
Ms. Fisher told Newsful managing their community has its challenges, like racism and one instance where a member was successfully sued for slandering a private company that he took issue with, but on average the engagement is positive.
Page admin, Amy Fisher. Photo: Supplied
She said, however, that it was rewarding to see hard working people recognised each day. "Outstanding service deserves applause."
The page's Admins are passionate about animals. "We frequently highlight the SPCA or Monkey Rescue, as well as any crisis going on in the informal areas, etc.," said Ms. Fisher. She said her group would be looking into social events and fundraising campaigns in future. "We have a large audience and a duty to pay it forward."
Editor's note: The puppy, because we know you're wondering if he's okay, had to have his paw amputated. Still, he recovered and is doing well.
Update: Ms. Fisher has let us know that Durban Service GBN is actually divided into three communities (service, restaurants and accommodation) with a total member base of 82,000.