From lunches and carols to markets and meeting Santa
CapeTownMag Hero: Samantha Grass
Charity really does start at home.
Last Updated: 06 December 2016
There are over 7000 homeless people in Cape Town who have to face every day with one question: where will the next meal come from? That question may not even be answered before the next day’s worries arrive.
It’s tradition to make a wish while blowing out your birthday candles and wish for things that may sometimes indicate how fortunate we are. When Samantha Grass blew out her birthday candles, she had just one wish - to provide food and necessary items for the less fortunate. Which, in case you wondering, she went on to do just that.
Sam, 27-years-old, from Lotus River, started a project called Sam’s Birthday Wish For The Homeless and Needy, on her 25th birthday. With the help of her mother, Lorna Grass, and sister, Michelle Grass, the venture was quickly on its feet. “After the success of my first project, I felt encouraged to give more. That’s when it became a monthly thing and sometimes even daily,” she explained.
On her 27th birthday, Sam felt the need to do more than give food and blankets. In the same week on Monday, 23 May 2016, Danny Oosthuizen’s story in the Argus sparked new ideas and inspiration and she felt compelled to do things differently. The idea to create an event on Facebook was positively received by the public, as sponsorship offers stormed in. The donations received stirred hope in the heart of Samantha - with companies such as Blue Ribbon, Woolworths and KFM contributing to the cause.
Samantha Grass with Danny Oosthuisen. Image Credit: Sam's Birthday Wish
Amidst the positive response from the public, challenges arose in Sam’s personal life when she was unfairly dismissed. “I was down but it only made me a better person," she explained. "It made me realise that even being dismissed, I had more than the man on the street and for that I am grateful”. Her last salary was spent on the items required for the project, which was an admirable deed. After distributing the the items to people in need, the remaining items were donated to St. Michael’s Youth and Child Care Centre, the Department of Justice, the Saartjie Baartman Centre and many more.
Sam’s goal is to continue helping those in need and to keep empowering and restoring dignity in those who feel lost. She has now taken on a new project - once again collecting items for those in need. This time she will be collecting for homeless people, kids as well as pets! That’s right, homeless people have pets! You can get involved with this project and get details of the project by liking her Facebook page Sam’s Birthday Wish.
It is now with great pleasure and privilege that we present Samantha Grass with the title of CapeTownMagHero.
#CapeTownMagHero is a new CapeTownMagazine.com project that tells of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. The Mother City’s diverse people are what make our city great! We honour those who use their time to make other lives more pleasant by bringing you the story. Do you know a #CapeTownMagHero? Email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow #CapeTownMagHeroes on Twitter and Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter to track recent stories.