Photo Credit: Charity Begins with Me

Pens, pencils and art supplies can be really expensive leading up to the first day of school; these children can swap recycling for the supplies they need.


Johannesburg, South Africa (23 January 2023) – Stationery doesn’t have to be brand new to make a difference in a child’s life. Thousands of used pens and pencils are making a difference to the children of Northern Johannesburg.

The Charity Begins With Me organisation has added thousands of pens, pencils and colourful art tools, like crayons, pastels and markers, to the recycling swap shop on its premises. The shop is filled with all kinds of toys, educational items, clothing, books and stationery.

The ‘Toys for Trash’ concept is part of Stephan Ferreira’s ‘Charity Begins With Me‘ organisation and the idea rewards children for their recycling. The children collect recyclable goods by cleaning their homes or the area they live in and then bring cans, tin and plastic to the toy store where they can exchange them for anything they like.

The swap shop has grown from strength to strength. Most of the goods in the shop are preloved, but they each have the opportunity to make a child happy. The stationery is tested and sharpened if needed before it is added to the shop.

Stephen and his team of dedicated volunteers welcome donations of stationery and any items the youth may find useful.

“Please donate the stationery your kids no longer need for our township recycling swap shop.

You don’t need money to “buy” stationery in our shop.

The more you recycle, the more you get.

The kids love to pick out stationery and whenever they see a can, tin or plastic bottle they rush to pick it up which makes for a cleaner environment.

We are always in need of stationery.”

To make a donation, you can use the details below or find more on Facebook here. They not only collect educational items, you can also help them provide a small meal to the children in the programme by donating food. They have an extensive list of helpful items here.

Photo Credit: Charity Begins With Me

Sources: Charity Begins with Me
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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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