Every year, people all over the globe are encouraged to go out on 18 July and dedicate at least 67 minutes towards doing something positive for the community. Whether it’s feeding the hungry, spending time with the elderly, or picking up litter; Mandela Day is about making the world a better place.
We’ve rounded up eight great ways you can get involved in 2019 and do your bit to give back.
1. Build A Home
Habitat for Humanity South Africa partners with communities, Government, donors and the private sector to build new homes (worth around R100 000 each) for South African families from low-income communities through volunteer build events. These builds are not only meant to uplift vulnerable families from shelter-poverty to self-reliance, but they also break the cycle of poverty and unemployment by teaching community members valuable construction skills that make them more employable.
For more information or to book your team build, email them at [email protected]
2. Volunteer At An Animal Shelter
Spend your 67 minutes surrounded by animals that are desperate for love and attention. Kitty and Puppy Haven in Midrand will be hosting volunteers on Thursday 18 July (between 9:30 and 15:00) who would like to help create enrichment toys and activities for their precious rescues. This pro-life sanctuary began in 2000 and dedicates every effort to rescuing neglected, abused and abandoned animals.
What can you do? Book your space by contacting them at [email protected] or visit their Facebook page for more information. All materials and instructions will be provided on the day, but feel free to take an item or two from their Wishlist with you. These are items like tinned food, toys, and cleaning materials. For the complete wishlist, visit their Facebook page.
3. Donate A Bra
Founded by Jeanette Kruger in 2015, ZABRA AfreeBra Initiative is an international volunteer network that collects pre-owned and new bras for women who can’t afford their own. Thus far, ZABRA has distributed 75 000 items to 200 charities and projects in 25 countries, relying solely on the help of volunteers and collaborations.
4. Support A Child’s Early Development
Grow with Educare Centres invites individuals and companies to volunteer time, make a donation or host a fundraiser in honour of Mandela Day. A non-profit organisation, Grow with Educare Centres represents 30 centres aiming to help disadvantaged communities across South Africa. These ECD centres are day care centres and pre-schools providing crucial Early Childhood Development education to kids between birth and school-going age.
To help, you can:
- Donate towards locally made, and child-appropriate Book Dash books
- Supply outdoor play equipment or artificial grass at Grow ECD centres
- Give money towards educational toys and equipment used in GROW ECD centres
- Volunteer your time to create a Sensory Board for an ECD Centre
- Adopt an ECD Centre to help them reach 5*Star ECD level and run a sustainable business
For more information and to find out exactly how you can get involved, visit their website here.
5. Make Veggie Soup
Join Jenny Morris this Mandela Day from 9:30 to 14:30 at the Cape Quarter shopping centre in Green Point, Cape Town for her annual soup kitchen charity drive. Volunteers can chop vegetables and knead dough to make hot soup and fresh bread to donate to shelters across Cape Town and to the homeless. Simply bring along a knife, cutting board, potato peeler and a bag of vegetables and help Jenny beat last year’s record of 1 000 litres of soup.
For more information, visit Facebook here.
6. Clean Up Your Neighbourhood
It sounds like a small and ineffective act, but why not spend an hour cleaning up your local community? Picking up litter will make a huge difference in how the neighbourhood looks and it’s great for the environment. Plus it’s simple and doesn’t require you to travel too far from home.
7. Donate Blood
A unit of blood can save three lives, but it only lasts 42 days after donation which is why it’s crucial to donate regularly. There are also several donation centres around the country, so you can visit the one that’s closest to you. For more information, visit the SANBS website here.
8. Help Children Be Barefoot No More
Europa Art Shoes has launched its nationwide campaign, #TheHeartOfBeingStylish. They have teamed up with a number of celebrities and a brand ambassador to support a charity dedicated to helping South African children in need. Europa Art aims to provide students with 10 000 pairs of shoes that are waterproof, washable and fully recyclable so they last as long as possible. And, these shoes will be made in South Africa!
You can help by donating R90 to any Europa Art store which will go directly to this initiative. Alternatively, you can add R45 to your purchase when buying any pair of Europa Art shoes, and the cost is then split. You can also make a private donation via the Europa Art website at www.europaart.co.za.
By Food and Decor Editor, Claire Badenhorst