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Give Back this Christmas in Cape Town
Spread the Christmas cheer this year by giving back to people (and pets) who need it the most!
Remember that feeling of urgency and excitement you felt as a child when you woke up on Christmas morning, ready to scuttle off and open the loot that Santa left you under the tree? Pay that joy forward this festive season by giving back to one of the multiple charities and NGOs that make our city a better place. ‘Tis the season of generosity after all and there’s no better feeling than making a difference, however small, to someone else’s life. Here are a few of our favourite places to donate to over the holiday season.
This is a seriously special non-profit that provides abandoned, neglected, disabled, orphaned and terminally ill children with a stable, loving and secure home environment. Many of the children have experienced abuse, and most come from a disadvantaged background. The NPO, run by the Sisters of Nazareth, also provides support and care for the elderly – particularly those who have been victims of poverty, abuse and neglect. Located in Vredehoek and Elsies River, the home has a wishlist on their website of things they needs throughout the year, such as clothing, toys, furniture and bric-a-brac. Let’s bring Christmas to Nazareth, and donate as many items on the list as we can. Visit www.nazhouse.org.za/how_to_help to see what’s needed. Financial donations are also warmly appreciated.
CONTACT: www.nazhouse.org.za | www.nazhouse.org.za/contact-us | +27 (0) 21 461 1635
SANTA CAUSE FOR PAWS
This lovely organisation is all about making sure that everyone has a good time this Christmas, dogs and cats included! Santa Cause for Paws collects food, blankets, toys and other essential items to donate to selected shelters across the Western Cape and South Africa. If you’d like to make a fur-child’s festive season extra special this year, you can either donate money or put together a box guaranteed to get tails wagging. You can pledge to pack a parcel on the site and then drop off your box at one of the allocated drop-off spots. Your box needs to include: two tasty treats, one warm item, one useful item and one fun item (with an optional item for staff, too). Most drop-off points are accepting boxes until Saturday, 2 December, but it’s best to confirm this with the station closest to you.
SANTA SHOEBOX PROJECT
It’s too late to get involved with this wonderful project this year, but it’s one to keep top of mind for 2018. An initiative of the Kidz2Kidz Trust and non-profit organisation, the annual campaign delivers over 100 000 boxes to more than 1000 recipient facilities across South Africa and Namibia. Essentially, donors pledge to donate and then receive the name, age and gender of the child they’re packing a shoebox of goodies for. Every box contains toothpaste, a toothbrush, soap, a washcloth, a complete outfit, educational supplies, sweets and toys, often accompanied by a special little note written by the donor to the child receiving the gift. It’s heart-warming and effective, as over 652 180 boxes have been delivered since the project started in 2006. The drop-off deadline is in November, so make sure you pledge early next year.
African Tails is another exceptional organisation dedicated to sterilising, treating, rescuing and rehoming abandoned, neglected and abused dogs and cats. The organisation doesn’t run a shelter, but sends animals to foster families until they find their fur-ever homes. They’re also strong advocates for education and does much to teach local communities about responsible pet care. If you’d like to make a puppy’s day, then you can help out by contributing towards the group’s wishlist. Food, kennels, tick and flea collars, blankets and other necessities are all needed, and monetary contributions go a long way as well. Better still, if you’re thinking of getting a new best friend, contact African Tails to learn more about adopting their puppies, kittens, cats and dogs in desperate need of loving homes.
PRIDE SHELTER TRUST
This amazing non-profit provides short-term shelter to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex Cape Town community during crisis periods in their lives. Since its inception in 2011 it’s assisted over 700 people by providing a warm, stable, supportive and safe environment. The trust has a wishlist on their website that includes items such as kitchen equipment, office supplies, garden equipment, toiletries, cleaning supplies, first-aid kits, bedding and more, so if you’re wondering what to get them this Christmas, you can find out on their website. Cash donations are also welcome.
This charity has been hosting Christmas lunches for the past 31 years and focuses on distributing them at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, as well as to poverty-stricken communities in Mitchells Plain, Brooklyn, Khayelitsha and other disadvantaged areas in the Western Cape. The organisation also has a Toy and Stationery Drive to bring smiles to the faces of some 1000 orphans and vulnerable children between the ages of three and 16 years old. Support this drive and donate new or used gifts for children, which can include anything from clothes to games. Donations can be dropped at their offices in Lansdowne.
CONTACT: www.mustadafin.org.za | +27 (0)21 633 0010
Started in 1989 by Rosalia Mashale – a woman with a heart for caring for neglected children – this organisation has grown from sheltering just 36 children to providing a safe space for 230, aged from three months to six years. Originally, Rosie looked after the children in her own home, but the group has now expanded to incorporate the Baphumelele Educare Centre that includes a community crèche and preschool, various community outreaches and the Baphumelele Children’s Home. The home fosters orphaned, abused, neglected and abandoned children, many of whom have been affected by HIV/Aids. This festive season, donate towards this amazing cause and make a lasting difference to the kids. The organisation’s wish list includes clothing, dictionaries, a generator, furniture, groceries, electricity, toiletries and baby supplies.
CONTACT: www.baphumelele.org.za | baphumelele.org.za/contact-us/ | +27 (0)21 361 8631
THE HAVEN NIGHT SHELTER
Providing temporary shelter, physical care, social welfare and family reunification services to homeless adults in the Western Cape, this organisation does truly great work in helping people to get back on their feet and invest in a fresh start. Established in 1978, the non-profit has multiple shelters across the Cape, and has assisted scores of people with finding employment and rediscovering their own worth. The Haven relies on financial donations so the best way you can help is to either volunteer or donate money to their account. You can also share your skills and actively employ or upskill individuals.
U-TURN HOMELESS MINISTRIES
The festive season is a time for giving, and celebrations. U-turn is asking Cape Town to please "Give Responsibly" this festive season. Giving money to people living on the street and who ring your doorbell can fuel addiction and lead to dependence. Instead, consider giving out U-turn voucher. U-turn vouchers provide meals and clothing, a sense of accountability, and most importantly puts the homeless in touch with our social support and occupational therapists. You can buy U-turn vouchers online and in stores - to find out more information click here. U-Turn Homeless Ministries is a 20 year old registered Christian organisation providing an innovative and sustainable pathway out of homelessness for street people in Cape Town. We believe in life after homelessness.
You don’t have to wait for Christmas to come around to give back to people in need! If you’re keen to make a difference in a responsible way, volunteer at some of these organisations or consider helping out at Red Cross Children’s Hospital.