The festive season is upon us, and with that comes a lot of cheer – but not for everyone. Giving back during this time is not only a nice thing to do, but is a mindset shift that is incredibly powerful, and equally rewarding. Places like animal shelters or centres that care for homeless people are overwhelmed during the holiday period, and rely heavily on help from the public to run smoothly and continue providing for our society’s most vulnerable – especially now that COVID-19 cases are surging again in many areas. Read on for four ways in which you can give back – safely!
Swipe with every shop
MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet is one of South Africa’s biggest community loyalty programmes, that makes a difference to the lives of tens of thousands of fellow citizens. Supporters can choose up to three beneficiaries they wish to support – be it a school, charity, animal or environmental organisation. All that you need to do is swipe every time you shop at more than 1500 partner stores across the country.
The programme has raised over R64 million this year alone for schools, charities, animal welfare and environmental organisations. To sign up for your MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card, visit myschool.co.za or download the app. Every time a purchase is made at a retail partner, including Woolworths, Loot.co.za, Bidvest Waltons, Builders and more, a donation will be made to the cause of your choice – at no cost to you.
Spoil your loved ones with gifts that serve a purpose
Kill two birds with one stone this holiday season by purchasing gifts for your loved ones, while giving back at the same time. Relate Bracelets is a 100% not-for-profit social enterprise that donates the majority of its revenue to credible causes, while creating income opportunities for South Africans most in need.
Rather than being given cash hand-outs, beneficiaries are upskilled with training and education that gives them the tools to help uplift themselves. Among numerous ongoing partnerships and campaigns, Relate has recently launched its Zero Hunger bracelet, an initiative to raise funds for the Woolworths Trust. With the sale of each bracelet, R3 (VAT inclusive) is donated to the Trust. All funds go towards good care packs for families in need in a bid to to help alleviate the country’s growing hunger crisis. Visit Relate.org for further information and to make your purchase.
Provide a warm bed for someone without a home
Homelessness is a real and growing concern in South Africa, but the Haven Night Shelter has made it easy for members of the public to donate via their website to help address the issue. Their new COVID-19 fundraiser allows you to make a donation of R19, R191,90 or R1 919.
Additionally, ticketing platform Quicket has partnered with The Haven Night Shelter to create the shelter passport. You can go online and buy a passport filled with printable, charity-ready reprieve for those in need. Each ticket guarantees the recipient a hot meal, a shower, and a bed for the night (provided there is one free) at any Haven night shelter in the Western Cape. In addition, the homeless receive access to the assistance The Haven provides in terms of social services to help get people back on their feet.
The tickets are sold in batches of five and cost just R12 per ticket. Most customers buy a pack of 10 or even 50 at a time and keep them handy to give out as needed – especially since they don’t expire.
Donate a food parcel
If you have a loved one or someone you know who has been through a tough time this year, why not gift them a food hamper to help see them through the festive season? Local online retailer Yebo Fresh has a wide variety of food combos that combine fresh fruit and vegetables with pantry staples at affordable prices. Throughout the height of the lockdown, they helped deliver over 80 000 food parcels to those in need. You can choose to buy for someone specific, or have it delivered to an NGO of your choice. Yebo Fresh delivers to any area within a 40km radius of the Cape Town CBD.