Over our 8 trading days, 1,400 children visited and 15 tons of recyclables were exchanged for goodies in the swop shop. At the start of the school year, stationery and school uniforms sell like hotcakes. Fortunately, a lovely group from Youth With a Mission (YWAM) had helped to count and sort through this stock. Jason and his staff at the Office 4 U once again organized the best deals and delivery on school supplies. Pam and Jeanette set up a temporary school uniform station inside the main building to ensure efficiency.
We gladly welcomed volunteer groups from Jeffreys Bay Primary School Caring Kids, Pharos School, the Christian Surfers Academy for Leadership Training and YWAM. We received 3 wonderful visits from Aphiwe, one of our old “customers”. He was on leave from his career as electrician in Johannesburg and felt he had to spend some time at the project because he so fondly remembers the volunteers encouraging him.
Two new volunteers who have been great assets are Clair, who makes every child feel like they have just won the Nobel prize for participating, and Ursula, who is calm and considerate and never seems to get tired.
Travel restrictions have kept some of our favourite people away from South Africa for 2 years, so we were extremely happy to receive a visit from Billy Bergaker along with a fabulous donation of clothing and shoes from the Bergaker family and friends. Pam and Jeanette couldn’t stop raving about the beautiful selection. The first GoSurf Norway group arrived in March and hope to join us on site very soon.
One of our most loyal supporters from the USA, who likes to remain anonymous, sent a parcel with a selection of gorgeous brown and black dolls, one of which she hand-made. In her own words “ it’s 's really important for kids to see themselves and their beauty just as they are”. The kids were smitten!
The committee deliberated and decided that, while keeping precautions like masks, washing and sanitizing hands, it was likely safe enough to once again provide a light meal to the children on trading days. Libby made thousands of peanut butter and jam sandwiches, which went down a real treat. With some trepidation, we then started approaching the local restaurants that had always supported the project. We knew they had all been through a torrid time and didn’t want to place unnecessary pressure on them. To our amazement, Infood and Nina’s both immediately and simply said “Yes, of course, just tell us how many kids and what date”. Lesson learned: never make assumptions.
Food Lovers Market and Woodlands Dairy have continued to provide fruit and milk for all the children on trading days. These are the most amazing gifts and for many children the main reason for their visit.
As we all know, food prices are forever increasing, so finding something nutritious and affordable is a constant challenge. A new item in the swop shop is oats, which is bought in 25kg bags and then decanted into small paper bags to be “sold” @ 1 Mula (500g plastic). Press Officer Henry has been hard at work on an updated website. We all think it looks fantastic. Please click on www.jbayrecyclingproject.org to have a look and give us feedback!