The first four months of 2024 have been a great success for JBay Recycling Project, with so much good news to share.

Let’s start with the stats… over 13 trading Mondays, 1,903 kids recycled a whopping 32.6 tonnes. Each child returning home with something they were proud to be able to contribute to their household – whether it be a packet of breakfast cereal or a cuddly teddy bear. 

Our biggest challenges remain:

  • enough volunteers to assist all the children who want to participate, allowing each child to receive the attention they deserve and the time they need
  • funds to stock the swop shop with necessities, as well as coveted high value items like bicycles, skateboards, dolls, sports equipment etc.
  • “catering” for 180 – 200 children on trading days – so that they each receive a nutritious snack or meal once their shopping is done and they can go home with full tummies
  • maintaining the site infrastructure and equipment, so that the project can run smoothly

Over the Christmas period, Clair arranged two days for volunteers to sort, clean, mark, count, do repairs etc. to get ready for the start of the year.


Not all our top contributors, who were chosen to receive Tree of Joy Christmas gifts could attend on last day, so their gifts were alphabetically arranged to be ready on their next visit.  Trish fulfilled this job as main elf and these children were astounded to have their wishes granted.


As usual, we were graciously assisted in our bulk school stationery order by Jason and his staff at The Office 4 U.  They always give us rock bottom prices and superlative service, often donating printing and material.


Suitcases full of beautiful children’s clothing – donations from Clair’s family and friends in UK – arrived and were put on display.


Kelly received a call from Jan and Leonie Steenkamp, from Spar Supermarket’s Distribution Centre, regarding a donation of school shoes.  We couldn’t believe it when Kelly had to make 3 trips to collect these – about 400 pairs of school shoes, sizes 10 to 2!  This means that we only have to buy in a few tiny pairs and the size 3 to 6 for the older children, saving us an absolute fortune!


The week before our first trading day, jut when we started worrying whether we’d have enough volunteers to cope, a member of YWAM Norway contacted us to say that their group of 11 are keen to assist on our 1st day.  Serendipity!  The first day went splendidly thanks to them.


The Marina Martinique homeowners association were meanwhile very busy organizing their second wine tasting event, the Cru De Marina.  It sold out and was an enormous success again.  They shared all profits between us and the fantastic JBay Animal Rescue Sanctuary.  We each received a whopping, wonderful R25,000.00.


Jeffreys Bay Primary school once again held a term 1 food drive and very generously donated around 60 tins of baked beans to JBay Recycling Project.


A committee meeting was held at Clair’s home early in February. We discussed the project vision and goals for the year as well as addressing some challenges by making practical adjustments.  Volunteer guidelines were updated and we are now implementing a number system to prevent queue-jumping and better protect the children who are not in a group or with adults.

We received the awesome news that the organizers at Victory Gap Year will include volunteering at JBay Recycling Project in their student program for 2024.  Since February, this group of 10+ have been helping out for 2 hours every trading day.  Team leader Thabo is doing a fabulous job of rotating chores and making sure that they help where needed and still have a blast.  They have been such a blessing!


The new CSALT program started in February as well, and as always with the CSALT groups, this group of around 10 young people have been energetic, kind, loving and lead by example.


Our friend Razaan Plaatjies at Kouga Express heard that we were sometimes short of volunteers so she wrote a lovely article calling for more helpers, especially before 2 and after 4; Our “poster girls” were Jeannette, Ursula and Isabelle.  Belinda, Bruce and Nina saw the article and have been great additions to our team.  “B” was visiting JBay and volunteered at just the right time – she was thrown in the deep end at the clothing container, but did a sterling job while both Jeannette and Kerry were out gallavanting ;). Liz started volunteering with Denise and has become another dedicated member of the team.


Our local Shoe City branch have given the project very welcome trolleyloads of “returned” shoe donations several times and during their recent revamp they called again.  Free shoes – what’s not to love?


Woodlands / First Choice have long been a supporter of the project and we thank them again for their generous donations of milk, which the kids absolutely love.


Food Lover’s Market have been a wonderful supporter of JBay Recycling Project for a very long time.  We met Ridhwana, their Corporate Social Investment facilitator, who arranged a new MOU, allowing us to continue receiving fresh fruit every Monday – ensuring each child gets a sweet and healthy reward for their hard work.


Tour company HotSpots2C and their CSI arm 2cChange have sent 2 generous donations already this term – boxes full of school supplies and flipflops – as requested by the kids.


Everyone’s favourite volunteer Zack was rehired full-time by a previous employer, where his dedication has already earned him a promotion!  We miss him, but we are very happy he’s doing so well.


Our first Crowdfunding campaign of the year is aimed at benefiting the girls, so the decision was made to aim for 50 pairs of tekkies and 50 netballs @ R17,500.00.  We have already received two substantial donations towards these.


Regular financial contributions provide stability and allow for budgeting – thanks to Mojo Properties, Stewardship International and the Schueller family for making it possible to buy the toothpaste, soap, porridge, pencils etc. the children need.

Having the continued support of two local restaurants, Nina’s and Infood, means that on 2 Mondays per month the children each receive a delicious, freshly prepared meal when they visit the project.  Heidi, Jayne and your staff – thank you for your kindness and compassion.


We have appealed for hotdog/ sandwich sponsors to cater for the balance of trading days.  Our friend Lufti was kind enough to facilitate funding from a Swiss friend for 3 Monday’s worth of hotdogs.


Our long-time friend and supporter Heidrun and her family are on a trip from Frankfurt and handed us enough for another 3 x 200 hotdogs.  Wow.


We had a worthwhile meeting with the waste and environmental managers at Kouga Municipality, who have assured us of their assistance with building maintenance as well as making a 3 year commitment of a discretionary grant. On 15th April, we received around 100kg of onions, carrots and beetroot – a donation facilitated by Kouga Municipality.  Every child who visited on the day received a bonus gift of a bag of veggies.


ARCH Actuarial Consultants have surprised us a second time with another amazing donation.


We had once again tried out utmost in our application for funding from the National Lotteries Commission, but with thousands of applications submitted to them, one’s chances are always quite slim.  Then, on Thursday 11th April at around 4pm we received THE CALL: the phenomenal news that the project has been approved!  Our funds have been dwindling, and we have been frantically applying to corporates, crowdfunding etc. so this boost would cover the project expenses for around 70% of the next year, longer if we keep receiving the same spectacular support from some now-regular donors.    


That seems like a magnificent note on which to end our newsletter.

Thank you as always to each one of you who has contributed to this project and bettered the lives of children in Jeffreys Bay