The last day is always a celebration of the year. 291 children traded their recycling as usual, but then each received a goodie bag filled with toys, sweets, and biscuits. This was possible thanks to the fundraiser dubbed “Share the Love” originating with Monica, Clair, Henry, and Kelly – an enormous success. Henry designed an awesome campaign and made the PayPal and EFT options easy to use. Lesley set up a GoFundMe page for our European supporters. The Facebook videos and Clair’s fun Instagram reels asking for donations worked magic.
By the 5 th of December, we had achieved the R15,000 goal and could purchase everything necessary to make the last day extra special for the kids. Marie’s daughters Steph and Ticia donated their childhood storybooks to add to the
Christmas gift bags and we received more from Friends of the Library – as Sheila says “if it inspires one child to become a reader, it’ll be worth it.” The Schoeman family donated a bag filled with gifts. The Office 4 U assisted with gift options at great prices and we loved their suggestion of branded frisbees! Gillian prepared thoughtful tags to indicate suitability and personalize the goodie bags. Our team of around 15 volunteers packed 300 gifts within a few hours after our AGM on Saturday. It was their first visit for some volunteers, like Ursula, Maryke, and friends.
Mrs. Smith – Wesley from CrossFit’s mom – donated ice cream for all the children and her grandkids kindly pre-packed 300 sweet packets. Neil Botha and his team at Food Lover’s Market bakery prepared delicious sausage rolls and First Choice donated chocolate-flavored milk. Kelly arranged vouchers from Milk & Bread for our “top 20 attendees” and they kindly donated another 8! On the day, the gifts were delivered with Christmas carols playing, flags flying and a Christmas tree, by Pieter, Elke, Eidie, Abby, Isabeau, and Shiloh who all dressed up as Santa and his elves. The kids nearly fainted with excitement! We are super grateful to each and every person who donated so generously. Our hardest working families – the Ndzombanas and the Jacks (4,7 and 2.3 tons respectively) each received a Christmas grocery hamper to acknowledge their contribution.
Shoes are an item the children always need, but are unfortunately simply too expensive to buy in large enough quantities with our current budget. We decided to dedicate our efforts towards an organized shoe drive. The public was made aware of this drive through Clair and Henry’s videos, and we received 225 pairs of shoes in total from Father’s House Church (thanks to Sam du Toit and pastor Lloyd), HotSpots2C, and donors encouraged by Fountains Mall. These were offered at 3 Mula and flew out. We now need more!
To CSALT, Jeffreys Bay Primary, Surf Lodge, GoSurf Norway, the Baumgartners, Mrs. Zonnekein, and her friends from Belgium, Joey, and friends at Eedenglen, and every single volunteer who made this year a success.
..To Pam, Zack, and Clair – you guys are irreplaceable, indomitable, priceless, awesome, and universally adored!
..To Elke – a fantastic new addition to our team and her talented partner Koos who assisted with additional security measures. His advice and the hard work he put in to discourage future burglars were fantastic.. so far, so good!
..To our donors who make sure the kids all go home with something nutritious in their tummies. Our allowance from Food Lover's Market provides extra vitamins from oranges, apples, or bananas; First Choice Dairy donates long-life milk sachets for drinking or breakfast; and our wonderful restaurants – Chip n’ Dip, Eddies Unmistakably Indian, Infood, and Nina’s take turns to serve up fresh goodies. It means so much to the children to sit down and enjoy their treats, socialize, show off their shopping and relax after the ordeal of queuing and shopping.
..To our brilliant and generous knitters and crocheters for so many stunning knitted teddies, jerseys, and blankets, wow. Your beautiful handiwork is constantly finding an appreciative new home!
..To CrossFit owners and clients – your fundraiser covered half of our 2023 stationery needs!
..To Monica Zipper and friends who have arranged for our damaged shadenet to be replaced before reopening and the funds to do it – shade is really imperative on those boiling hot trading days.
..To the many, many donors of toys and clothing – the Van Rensburg, Peckham, and Gouws families amongst others. Please accept our apologies if you are not mentioned by name – you made a difference in a child’s life even if our memory doesn’t always serve us well.
..To Oakridge Academy for visiting your donations as well as the bags of popcorn for the children, each with a personal message of love and inspiration – this meant so much to our team and the children.
..To HotSpots2C for your donations of stationery and books, but even more for your spirit of giving back and teaching your clients to be responsible travelers – long may you prosper!
..To Mojo Properties, Stewardship International, and The Stretch Foundation – our biggest corporate donors this year. Our search for a new “anchor donor” continues and we have applied to the WWF, Kouga Municipality, Enel Green Power, and the Lotto to name a few. We are open to suggestions!
12 December was our 9 the trading day of a term during which we enjoyed 1,663 visits and collected over 23 tons. This brings our accumulated totals to 81,057 visits and material recycled to 804,276 kilograms!
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