Photo Credit: Supplied

Rays of Hope are calling on Joburgers and South Africans outside of the city to help keep the people of Alexandra Township warm this winter with their #WarmUpAlex mission:


Alexandra, South Africa (15 May 2024) — While the South African Weather Services has predicted low rainfall and above-normal temperatures across the country this winter, many people will still face a brutal few months out in the cold.

Inadequate living conditions, houses that are ill-equipped to keep the elements out, and a lack of access to blankets, warm clothing, and nutritious meals are some of the major challenges facing those living in Johannesburg’s Alexandra Township.

According to Tsholofelo Mabeleng, who is a social worker at Rays of Hope, the community of Alexandra would benefit greatly from not only donations, but a show of humanity and care from their fellow South Africans.

“It fosters a sense of solidarity and support within the community, showing that people care about each other’s welfare, especially during challenging times like winter,” Tsholofelo says.

The Drive to #WarmUpAlex

In efforts to provide relief to those who need it most Rays of Hope, a non-profit organisation based in Alexandra  introduced the #WarmUpAlex initiative in 2020, calling for donations of blankets, hats, jerseys, jackets, scarves, gloves and non-perishable food items to help people stay warm and adequately nourished!

The drive has been successful in past years with generous donations from businesses, partner organisations and individuals allowing Rays of Hope to assist almost 2,500 Alex residents in 2021. There were also 23 NGOs who agreed to team up with Rays of Hope to assist those in need in whatever way they could in the same year.

“The #WarmUpAlex initiative is crucial for the community of Alexandra, because it addresses a basic need: warmth during winter,” says Tsholofelo. “By providing blankets, socks, gloves, and Vicks, it not only ensures physical comfort but also promotes health and well-being, especially for families struggling financially. I have witnessed this campaign spark hope and warmth in our beneficiaries.”

The NGO is calling for businesses, fellow non-profits and the public to assist with donations of blankets and warm clothes that are in good condition, as well as over-the-counter items to assist with colds and flus, such as menthol rubs, lozenges, and hot water bottles.

Donations can be Collected and Taken to the Following Drop-off Locations:

  • Rays of Hope Sandton Office – Rosebank Union Church, cnr William Nicol Dr and St Andrews Rd, Hurlingham, Sandton
  • Rays of Hope Alex office – 2 Lupin Str, Marlboro Gardens

In exciting news, this year Rays of Hope has also partnered with the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day initiative to bring even more warmth to the people of Alex. Carolyn Steyn, founder of the initiative, in collaboration with KNITWITS 4 THE NEEDY have already created blankets for Rays of Hope beneficiaries.

For more information, interested individuals, businesses and organisations looking to assist can contact Nhlanhla Mchunu (Events and marketing coordinator) at nhlanhla@raysofhope.co.za.

Sources: Supplied — Kgothatso Tema 
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Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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