The year has just kicked off – and it’s already clear that 2021 is not just any year. While still recovering from the challenge that was 2020, we find ourselves in the midst of a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, more than ever, we see just how important it is to take every opportunity to help our fellow South Africans in need of assistance during these unprecedented times.
Read on for three ways to bring a smile to someone’s face this month:
Shop and make a difference
The new school year is set to kick off and many parents have yet to get to their big annual back-to-school shop. From school uniforms to pencils and rulers, there are an array of items that learners need to prepare for the new academic year. While filling your trolleys with what your own children need, spare a thought for the tens of thousands of others around the country who don’t have the same resources we so often take for granted. For them, contributions from charities and other organisations are a lifeline when it comes to being equipped with the very basics, like pens, pencils, rulers, books, etc. At no extra cost to you, you can make a difference in the lives of these learners every time you swipe your MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card while shopping at any of the retail partner stores, including Woolworths, Loot.co.za, Bidvest Waltons, Builders and more. You can choose up to three schools or causes to support, and a percentage of your spend will be donated on your behalf to those most in need – at no additional cost to you
Help out in the kitchen
In most South African households, the majority of the budget is spent in the kitchen. Food and household goods are a never-ending expense, and gifting someone with groceries for a couple of days, or even a week, could well allow them to stretch their budget to other crucial items, or to pay off the bills. Cape Town-based online retailer Yebo Fresh provides communities with affordable, quality groceries, delivering within 40km of the CBD. If you’re interested in helping a family with groceries, visit their website to view a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, pantry items and meat. They have also added convenient combos, which makes it easier (and cheaper!) to purchase the essentials for the household you wish to assist.
Protect our senior citizens
As we all know, charitable organisations were hit hard when the pandemic struck last year, forcing them to work harder than ever before to meet the increased levels of need amongst the communities they support. It has also become more difficult for these organisations to host the same kind of fundraising events they used to, which means they’re having to do much more with much less. You can help via, for example, the Relate Trust, by paying it forward to worthy causes when you buy their bracelets online. Many of the people who produce these bracelets are elderly township residents, who are more in need thanks to the pandemic than ever before. The DIG60 bracelet, available on the Relate website, is specifically geared towards raising funds for senior citizens, who are among our most vulnerable population groups. All proceeds go directly to Ikamva Labantu, who work hard to provide dignity and support to senior citizens at risk.
These are just a few simple ways to give back to causes that need it the most. Although we’re all facing unprecedented challenges, let’s remember to always pay it forward whenever we have the chance to do so.