Blankets Blanket
Photo by Jordan Bigelow on Unsplash

What may just be a blanket for some, is hope, warmth, protection and comfort for others; these are some of the ways to give people hope.

 

South Africa (04 June 2024) – South African winters always seem to appear out of nowhere. One moment, we are enjoying a braai outside and going for a walk whilst enjoying the afternoon sun, next thing we know we are huddled up inside with our blanket and hot chocolate. Some, however, are huddled around a fire, trying to keep a source of warmth alive to make it through the night.

Approximately 18.2 million South Africans live in poverty conditions. This means that approximately a third of the country’s population will be relying on the bare minimum to get them through this winter. As we cosy up this cold season, let us consider the ways in which we can lend a helping hand to those who need it.

Donate clothing and blankets

Clothing and blankets go a long way. Blankets can be bought at Pep, Pick n Pay, and Mr Price Home for approximately R80 to R100, which amounts to 2.5 takeaway cappuccinos. Clothing, on the other hand, does not need to be bought. Start your spring cleaning early and donate clothes that you haven’t worn in the past year – it’s one of the quickest, easiest ways that you can help someone stay warm this winter.

Support food banks

Non-perishable food items such as tinned food, tinned soups, and powdered milk goes a long way. They cost anywhere from R20 to R30 and provide someone with a warm and nutritious meal. Looking in the back of your pantry can also prove useful as there may be items that you are not using. Instead of allowing them to become so old that they need to be thrown away, donate them to local shelters.

Volunteer at shelters

Volunteering at a shelter can be a rewarding experience. Not only do you help the needy, but you get the satisfaction of having contributed to your community, too. Volunteering also allows you to meet like-minded people and may even lead to new friendships. And, by taking young people such as your children or nieces and nephews along to volunteer, you teach them a sense of civic responsibility and selflessness in taking care of others – qualities that will be valued in them as they go through life.

There are a variety of shelters you can volunteer at, from those that help humans to animal shelters such as the NSPCA, which provides shelter, food, and protection for animals. Their mission is to find new homes and loving owners for these beautiful animals. Cuddling a new furry friend this winter might just be the thing your home is missing.

Emergency kits

Stock your car with a few necessities such as a bottle of water, tinned soup, a pair of gloves, and a beanie, and the next time you see someone in need at a robot or a stop street, you can give them an ‘emergency kit’. Even if you can spare a sandwich, it can make a big difference in someone’s day.

One thing to consider is that help is needed everywhere. From the youth to the elderly to animals, there is no shortage of people and animals alike who need our help this winter. There are already organisations in place that have done all the heavy lifting and just need support to help those in need cross the finish line this winter.

Noteworthy causes

The Amy Foundation is one such organisation. They support and empower the youth, specifically those aged 5-35, and create opportunities for skills development and education. Our youth are our future, and by supporting them now, a better and more hopeful future can be achieved.

Ikamva Labantu focuses on the elderly, providing them with support in health, nutrition, cognitive stimulation, and frail care. They ensure that your finer years can still be enjoyable by providing comfort, companionship, and care.

Relate Bracelets, partner to these noteworthy causes above, provides a platform for these organisations and many more, and relays their messages of hope. To date, Relate has raised R77,204,246 to support communities and organisations in need. They also sell beautiful handmade beaded bracelets to raise funds to support these causes and many more. The bracelets are made by the seniors of Ikamva Labantu, refugees, and township youth, all of whom earn an income from it. By buying one of their bracelets, you’ll not only be helping to put food on the table this winter, but giving a bracelet maker hope and dignity.

As South Africans, sticking together, helping each other out, and forming unity will provide the framework for a better future.

According to Dalit Shekel, CEO of Relate Bracelets, “Unity and compassion go hand in hand. By being aware of how you can help others this winter, you provide the fundamentals of hope and care, and can feel empowered and inspired through connection.”

Helping those less fortunate than us need not take a big effort – just one small gesture can make a big difference to someone else.


Sources: Supplied (Various – Linked Above)
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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