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These are a few of my favourite charities

I LOVE charity, I breath, sleep, dream, plan, visualize a better South Africa through something called charity.  Obviously charity takes many different forms and no matter how big or small your charity is, it means for a part of your day, you thought of something or someone other than yourself – which is something we can all start doing a little more of.

Here’s a list of my favourite charities and what it is they do:

  1. Baby Box Project – very similar to our maternity pack project.  Baby Box Project is run by my dear friend, Lena Clark, who built her model on a similar model as Santa shoebox.  She hands out boxes all year round, mainly to Rahima Moosa hospital in Coronation. See more about what they do here.
  2. Dignity Dreams – they help solve the sanitary pad crisis in South Africa, by manufacturing re-usable sanitary pads. These pads are SABS approved and also create employment, which I am very passionate about.  See their website here.
  3. Red Frogs – support network that helps students at matric holiday not ruin their lives by making a simple mistake.  They make sure that the students aren’t drinking and driving, they help them to stay hydrated etc.  They are also present (with medical staff) at festivals such as Oppi Koppi. See more here.
  4. Cherished – support group to women in the sex trade. These ladies do absolutely amazing work and help ladies that want to get out of the sex trade, get out.  If you’d like to learn more, see here.
  5. Wheel well – since I started doing charity work in 2013 I LOVED what wheel well (and Peggie Mars) did and what they stood for.  They collect 2nd hand car seats, restore them and donate them to less fortunate people.  Here is their website.

Word of inspiration

Iif you feel you have an idea that could make a difference in South Africa, no matter how big or small, take the plunge and do it – you CAN make a difference.  Make EVER day Nelson Mandela Day.

 

 

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How to help @GraceFactoryZA – The Grace Factory

I get asked quite often how people can help The Grace Factory (Mandela Day is also coming up soon) and recently by my colleague, Lee, so this one is for you Lee 🙂

  • collect wool for our beanie and booties project (we have people who can knit and we’ll give the wool to them)
  • knit beanies and booties yourself
  • collect second hand prem, baby & toddler clothes
  • host a nappy drive
  • ask people to bring donations for The Grace Factory instead of a gift for yourself when it’s your birthday – brave one 🙂
  • Help us pimp our ride by signing a 36 month debit order
  • sign up for my school and make us your beneficiary (you can have up to 3!!)
  • host a formula drive
  • help us cut blankets from fleecy material
  • tell your friends about us
  • help us find more children’s homes that we can support
  • volunteer of your time at one of our quarterly packing days (normally 3 hours)
  • volunteer of your time to drop off maternity packs

The Grace Factory Poster Emailer

Knitting jpeg

Nelson Mandela Beanies

Prem Packs

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Hamleys gives back

I LOVE companies that give back and I really like this idea from Hamleys toy store! Their new store opens in East Gate TODAY!

Hamleys new toy shop at Eastgate Shopping Centre will be spreading smiles with a #HamleysBBFF Donation Station, where pre-loved teddies and new fluffy toys can be donated to the Smile Foundation.

Smile

The #HamleysBBFF Donation Station, into which supports can place their teddy donation through the heart of the 3 metre wire teddy, will be gratefully accepting donations for the Smile Foundation from 25th February to 31st March.  The Foundation is a proudly South African non-profit organisation that provides reconstructive surgery for children with facial abnormalities and burn wounds.

Says Philip Paphitis of Hamleys South Africa, “Teddy bears have a special place in our hearts at Hamleys, and these teddies and other toys will be distributed to children receiving surgery to bring smiles and to comfort them while in the hospital as well as at home. Most of these children have never received a new toy in their life and this heartfelt gesture will lift their spirits after surgery and aid their recovery.”

Teddies have been an integral part of a happy childhood for centuries, and now science has backed up the benefits and shown that cuddling a teddy can assist with healing children who have experienced trauma in their young lives – trauma which is a sad reality in the lives of many South African children.

The Eastgate shop is the 4th and largest Hamleys toy shop to open in South Africa.

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Jozi meet up

I attended the second #Jozimeetup on Saturday, that was organized by Laura from Harassed mom. I had attended the first #Jozimeetup earlier this year and LOVED it so much, so decided to attend the second one too.

The first one was more of a social for bloggers/ tweeters/ instagrammers etc. to meet each other. The second one was much more about awareness and how to keep yourself and your children safe on social media. The speakers were Stacey Vee and Hayley Owen. I unfortunately couldn’t hear them speak as Erin wasn’t keen to go to the kids play area and she wasn’t keen to sit still either. But all the other ladies said that they learnt so much from these two very knowledgeable speakers.

The food was DIVINE and as at was hosted at Core, the kids had an amazing iPad and iGames area where they could play. I was bummed that Damien had to work and he couldn’t look after Erin, but my lamb and I had a great time in the gardens of Core and I did manage to chat to a few of my social media / mommy blogger friends.

Here’s some pics of what Erin and I got up to.

Thanks Laura for a really well organized event!

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Thank you also so much to everyone who brought goods for The Grace Factory, I value your continued support!

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Give books, change lives : PUO

A few months ago I bought Erin a Puo book (Afrikaans), Puo flashcards (Zulu) and a Puo puzzle (Zulu). I truly love their products, as they focus on teaching children South African languages, via fun activities, such a reading, puzzles etc. Now Puo is GIVING back and I LOVE companies that GIVE BACK even more!

Puo

This Festive Season they’re asking for your help.  Puo’s goal is to deliver 10,000 books as gifts to children who cannot afford them. Only 7% of schools in South Africa have a functioning library. This means that the majority of our children do not enjoy the benefits of storybooks. Your collective pledges will help change the lives of thousands of children by giving them the gift of brand new books, published in South Africa’s 11 official languages.  How will we do this?

1. Kindly send them your pledge amount to info@puo.co.za for invoicing purposes

2. They will deliver to these 3 NGO partners:     The Shine Centre     Nal’ibali     Biblionef

3. They will deliver to the children who are beneficiaries of their respective community programmes. Every child should experience the joy and related benefits of reading.

Thank you for making it possible!

Make Your Pledge

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When you realize your purpose – at age 28

I truly had an awesome weekend and one I won’t forget in a long time. It was super busy but super blessed. Woke up really tired on Monday morning, but with such a grateful heart.

Friday eve the three of us chilled at home with Pizzas – yummy!!!

On Saturday morning we got up early, headed to Suikerbos Rand to drop Damien off for a cycle and Erin and I went to Sasolburg with my mum.

I decided to go and drop off maternity packs at the hospital where I was born – Sasolburg hospital. What a humbling experience. I walked into the hospital, uncertain of where to go. The surreal feeling that I was born almost 29 years ago in this exact hospital, I wonder what my mum felt like on that day – 17 March 1986. I wondered if it looked the same, were any of those staff member still working there?

I went to the maternity ward, and spoke to sister Barnes, who was kind and soft spoken. I explained to her what I was there for and she was thrilled. I walked back and forth to the car to fetch 15 packs and was stared at by people, as though I was carrying GOLD!!

I started handing out the packs, chatting to each new mum. Asking them whether they had a boy or girl, what the babies weight was (nobody seemed to know their baby’s weight), whether the baby had a name etc. Some mums were thrilled to receive the packs, one mum even hugged me. Some seemed very overwhelmed and in pain. The babies were beautiful, each one so delicate and small. Some had names, others not yet. Some mums spoke and understood English, others not. One premmie was hooked up to a machine. Most mums were breastfeeding.

I walked into one of the rooms, and saw a tiny baby under lights. The mum explained that the baby had jaundice. I asked the mum whether she’d had any visitors yet, but she said “no, only messages on my cellphone”. The mum was so overwhelmed and I just tried as best I could to encourage her to hang in there “it will get easier, I promise”, I said. She was thrilled with her pack, specially made for HER and HER baby! Then I realized that I need to keep on keeping on with my packs. To some mums they don’t mean much, but to some mums, they mean the WORLD! I may have been that lady’s only visitor in hospital, after she gave birth to her first, sick child. What an overwhelming experience for her.
I walked out of the hospital with such joy and a full heart, feeling like what I had done (no matter how small it was) made a DIFFERENCE. At the age of 28 I realize I love my ministry and I’m so grateful to God for putting The Grace Factory on my heart.

I don’t have any fancy pics to show, there’s a specific reason I didn’t take my phone with me, but the pictures are imprinted in my heart and will be for a very long time.

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Madiba quotes

I’ve been having a REALLY hard time with people accusing me of very harsh and unkind things lately. As my charity grows into something bigger than I EVER could have imagined I find myself having to deal with many ugly things lately (you’d think charity is all flowery and lovely, well it’s NOT).

So this morning I chose to google some Madiba quotes and man has it cheered me up. Nelson Mandela was a GENIUS, a revolutionary of his time and I admire all his quotes and what he stood for.  May I strive daily to be like him!

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