Wheelchair delivered at Eersterust Care And Training Centre


Karin Spykerman – donor of this wheelchair

DSC04244Me and Gloria Hoods

What an honor to be accompanied by my genererous friend, Karin Spykerman, yesterday. We paid a visit to Eersterust Care and Training Centre for the disabled. I took many photographs, which will follow in due course.

Karin donated a wheelchair for a child and was thrilled to join in the handing over of it. Have a look at the pics….as you can see, the little angel is smiling all the time.

Thank you Karin….you changed a life today.

Just for your information…..a wheelchair for a disabled child can cost up to R 17.000-00, so this gift is really most welcome to the children and staff at the Care Centre. In the near future I’ll be posting photo’s of crafts the residents of the care centre are taught to make. These are sold to raise funds to enable the staff to take better care of their charges (wheelchairs included). If you are interested in donating to the centre, please do not hesitate to contact me via the contact form below. You can also message me on Facebook and Twitter (@IlzeHFoundation or @SharonH13). To email me directly, click here.

This facility aims to empower both children and adults with moderate to severe disabilities so that they can function in the ”real” world. They are taught skills like doing mosaic work, beading and now, with the generous help of a sponsor, they have acquired machinery to manufacture toiletrolls. (Sold at R 144-00/48).

So, if you just want to visit to spend time with these loving children or contribute in any way, please do so.

Watch the video below, please….and,perhaps, you will understand their desperation. Despite the teachers and caregivers at the centre, who shower them with love and attention; their basic needs, like custom-made wheelchairs, exercise apparatus, mealtime chairs, educational equipment and….just extra love….cannot be explained in one simple post.



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Thank you





6 great reasons to Donate to Charity

Via @dimespring.

By Steve Higgins

[Excerpt: Read full article here.]

Donating your time or money to a worthy cause helps make a positive difference in the world, which is enough of a good reason to give. But there are many other benefits worth exploring:

 A sense of purpose. Helping people in need can enlarge your world and transform you into a more important part of the community.

 Improved well-being. Giving to others can improve your physical health, self-esteem and mental health.

 Society benefits. “Nearly 20 percent of donors nationwide said that the most important reason they donated was to help people meet basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing and heat,” and 17 percent said “making the world a better place” motivated them,

 Tax deductions. Society repays you with a nice deduction from your taxes for most charitable donations, but you need to have proof. • Matching gifts. Many corporations will match your charitable contributions, sometimes dollar-for-dollar, and help you make them with automatic payroll deductions.

 Personal satisfaction. You can strike a blow against diseases or situations that have hit you personally. Two last points:

1. When you contribute to a charity, be sure it’s a legitimate organization.

2. Find out how much of your donation will be spent on administrative costs.

About the author:

Steve Higgins became a freelance writer in 2007 after a 25-year career as a business reporter and editor for daily newspapers in Georgia, Florida, Arizona and Connecticut. To learn more about Steve, please visit www.higginswriting.com.



Higgins, Steve. 2012. 6 Great reasons to donate to charity. [Web:] http://www.dimespring.com/articles/6-great-reasons-to-donate-to-charity. [Date of Access:] 12 February 2015.

10 Biggest Philantropists by Ronald Shane Flynn

Via  Ronald Shane Flynn – Google+.

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Bill Gates


“Philanthropy has become big again. Some of the world’s richest people have recently been seen giving away vast portions of their amassed fortunes to a variety of international causes. Some, like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, have reacted to the current global economic crisis by encouraging their fellow billionaires to give generously. Others have been doing it quietly ever since they made it big.”

While most of history’s biggest givers are from the boom times of the recent era, not all of them are. It is possible that the greatest philanthropist of all time lies in the murky histories of Ming China or Malian West Africa, both of which were times renown for their wealth. We could try to trace back the threads of time to long past eras, find their richest individuals and calculate their philanthropic contribution in modern currency. But, that would be exceedingly complicated. Better to stick with what we know for sure. That being the case, our 10 most generous individuals are all from fairly recent history.

Want to find out who these people are? Click here for article on Google+.

Read about the author:

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/ronaldshaneflynn
Facebook: facebook.com/ronaldshaneflynn 
Pinterest: pinterest.com/RonaldSFlynn/


Flynn, R.S. 2015. 10 Biggest philantropists of all time. [Web:] https://plus.google.com/u/0/109727362969397583578/posts/TQxsYmfUsBC. [Date of access:] 12 February 2015



KFC South Africa #InternationalRandomActsOfKindnessWeek

Via KFC South Africa on Facebook

Next week is International Random Acts of Kindness week. All around the world people will go out of their way, stepping out of daily routines, just to show some kindness to others around them. It doesn’t take a lot of effort…..a caring touch, a kind word….it can make a huge difference in someone’s life.

KFC South Africa gives us the perfect opportunity to reach out to others. Their Add Hope-campaign helps to feed the hungry and by adding just R 2-00 to your next purchase at any KFC in South Africa, you will contribute to their cause. Think about it, because you cared, somewhere a child will receive a nutritious meal.

Once again the donation is effortless…..just R2-00 and you can add it to your delivery order. You don’t even have to leave your house! Come on people, if we stand together, we can really change the world!

For delivery, call KFC at: 086 100 0532

Visit KFC on the web for more information.

Want to do something different? Click here are some hints.


Item Drive February: Teen Toiletries Month

Yes, it is THAT time again!! As you will remember from last year, February is toiletry month. I’ve changed it a bit this year…to TEEN TOILETRIES MONTH.

Before I give more details I would like to thank my loyal supporters (especially Karin Spykerman) for donating educational supplies in January. The last of these will be delivered to Ditebogo Daycare next Saturday, 14 February. The few items left in storage will be kept for the Santa Shoebox Project at the end of the year (if it isn’t needed elsewhere in the meantime).

Back to Feb….Valentines month, month of love…..lots of bath products, perfumes, powders and so forth are on special. If you do purchase something for your loved one, please buy an extra item and donate it to this cause. Or, if you do your monthly grocery shopping and buy some toothpaste or soap…..to add an extra tube or bar of soap to your trolley. Remember, every little bit helps. You WILL make a difference to those that have none!!

Here is a list of items for the month:

  • Beauty soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Facecloths
  • Razors
  • Deodorants (roll-on and spray)
  • Body lotion
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Hair accessories
  • Hair/nail brushes
  • Manicure/pedicure products
  • Aftershave lotion
  • Shaving cream
  • Bubble bath/Bath oil
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Tissues (girls and boys)
  • Make-up (eyeshadows, lipsticks, liners, foundation, lip-ice)
  • Any other age appropriate toiletries

You can also donate funds. Proof of purchase will be provided.

Interested in supporting us this month? Please complete the contact form and we will be in touch with details. Remember – donations in the Pretoria/Centurion/Brits area can be picked up. A drop-off  point in Randburg is also available for those in the Johannesburg area.

** Still want to donate educational supplies, you are more than welcome, just get in touch by completing the contact form below.

Thank you


Via Ending child marriage: the time to act is NOW | UNICEF Connect – UNICEF BLOG.

To be a happy child. To be part of a family that lives in harmony and domestic peace. To be a parent who has full capacity and knowledge to raise his or her children to have healthy fulfilling lives, free from violence. To be surrounded by a strong and peaceful community.”

Speaking as a white woman living in, what we affectionately call ”’the rainbow nation”, South Africa, we tend to forget about the rest of our continent or even those within the country’s borders that still cling to their traditions and practices of old. Yes, child marriage is something we’ve all heard of and we frown upon it. But usually we, even the black, colored and Indian people in our country, shrug it off as something that is happening elsewhere. The thing is, even it is happening ”elsewhere”, we, as fellow human beings, have a responsibility to give these young girls a voice. So the questions are: what are we doing about it? Do you realize what it means to those involved? 

First, let me give you some statistics: ”Currently, there are 720 million women and 156 million men who are married before their 18th birthday. Of these, approximately 250 million girls married before they reached age 15…….in nine countries the majority of girls are marrying as children, but also in view of a dozen additional countries where prevalence rates of child marriage, exceed 40%.” (Moneti, 2015) 

Shocking, don’t you agree. Now, having read the cruel statistics, you need to understand what the concept of child marriage means to the individual. I want you to consider the following:

If you are parent to a teen-aged daughter, how do you feel about this child? You want to keep her safe from harm, you want her to have fun with her friends, you want her to swoon over movie stars, read ‘’Twilight’’, watch television, do sport, study, throw the occasional teen-fit…..you want to keep her close, you want to be her best friend, share her secrets, tell her stuff about life and, eventually see her off to college or university. Why? Because you believe she has a brilliant future ahead of her and you want her to have a beautiful life….a life where she can utilize every possible opportunity you can present her with. You just want the best for HER….and, one day, you know that she will find someone to share her life with and she will have her own children when she is ready.  Am I right? Of course I am! 

Now, for just a minute, imagine someone demanding to marry your child at the tender age of 12 or 13 or 15 (or younger). Imagine yourself actually considering this a good match, because it will be good for the family AND because it is what tradition demands from you. You think, as parent and responsible member of your deeply traditional community, that it is the right thing to do (for the FAMILY and the COMMUNITY), so you agree. Your daughter is obviously unhappy about this, but accepts her fate, because it is, for her too, what tradition demands. She leaves school and forfeits the privilege of a university degree and a proper job where she can actively contribute to society. She also leaves behind childhood friends, the fun of being a teenager, the play dates and movie nights, the pajama parties and the school dances. She humbly turns her back on these to become a housewife, life partner to a much older (and often uncaring and unloving) husband and eventually a mother. She enters into a possibly brutal relationship where she would be forced to fulfill ‘’wifely’’ duties whenever her husband demands it. Because her husband is now her ‘’guardian’’, you cannot protect her anymore and she is left at the mercy of someone who sees her as a means to an end…an object, not a person with feelings, a future – a woman of substance, someone with true value. Your little girl is thrust into adulthood, with all the pain, fear and worries it entails. Oh, and by the way….this will be IF she is lucky….

How do you feel about this? How do you feel about your child becoming a woman, a wife, while she is still that, only a child….she is vulnerable, not emotionally prepared for the responsibilities of adulthood, much less motherhood. Can you, a mother yourself, remember what pregnancy did to your body? And birth? Can you honestly say that your little girl is physically capable of carrying a child in her developing body; that she is able to give birth? Remember…this is happening in a community without proper medical care; there is often NO prenatal care, no ‘’pregnancy vitamins’’, no kindly midwife seeing the precious little one into the world; this is happening in a community where food is scarce and water even scarcer, where disease thrives and medical assistance is the 150 year old medicine man in the village 200km away. What do you consider her chances are to survive? And her baby? What about your grandchild? 

You see, for many of these girls, marriage is a death sentence and it can be so very different. Have a look at the video below. R.L. Grimes managed to shock the world with this thought provoking visualization of child marriage, its consequences……..and what could have been.

“Girls who are married before their 18th birthdays are not only denied their childhood but are often socially isolated and subjected to violence, and limited opportunities for education and employment,” says Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative in Chad. (Grimes, 2015.)

Do you still think it is NOT your problem or responsibility? What would you say if I tell you that YOU, yes YOU, can do something to change this…..you will NOT allow your child to go through the hell I just had you imagine and what you subsequently saw in the video, would you? Yes, NO child should be exploited like this. We are all against child trafficking and child prostitution. Child labor is unacceptable…..yet it all still happens. Why? It is time the ‘’grown-ups’’ of society stand up and fight. We should not wait for big organizations like UNICEF to make the difference, we should do it ourselves. We must stop passing the buck….take a stand NOW…click here to sign the petition against child marriage. Contribute just that one vote and you have done something to make a difference.

There are many other ways we, as individuals can make a difference. Through education we can teach our children the evils of child marriage. We can create awareness in our community and encourage donations, sponsorship and volunteering in areas where child marriage prevails. Helping girls receive education and health care will go a long way towards empowering them to stand against those who force marriage upon them. Attending to basic needs in impoverished countries where child marriage is a common custom, things like food and water and proper medical care, will pave the road for brighter futures for all.

Yes, you can really make a difference. From the comfort of your own, safe home you can, with a click, change a life and secure a future.

You can also have a look at the websites listed below and choose the means you want to support this cause:

·         Equality now

·         Girls not Brides

·         Care

·         International Center for Research on Women

·         16 Organizations Working to Stop Child Marriage

Click here to read the related article by Francesca Moneti for UNICEF Blog.

Source list:

1.       Equality Now. 2014. Global: End child marriage. [Web:] http://www.equalitynow.org/take_action/child_marriage_action551 [Date of access: 6 Feb. 2015]

2.      Grime, R.L. 2015. YouTube: Always | #ENDChildMarriageNow | UNICEF. [Web:] http://youtu.be/sk-n7qOgaL8 [Date of Access: 6 Feb. 2015.


3.      Moneti, F. 2015. UNICEF Connect: Ending child marriage: The time to act is now. [Web:] http://blogs.unicef.org/2015/01/26/ending-child-marriage-the-time-to-act-is-now  [Date of access: 6 Feb. 2015]

Ending child marriage: the time to act is NOW | UNICEF Connect - UNICEF BLOG

Santa Shoebox Project – Rain Ponchos for Rural Children

SSB rural children receiving boxes 2014

Click on image to visit Santa Shoebox Project

Yes, 2015 is well underway and Santa Shoebox Project 2015 is already busy planning strategies for bringing joy to those who need it most.

You will remember that during our 2014 campaign you, as donor, had the option to purchase a rain poncho for a child. This is part of the 2014 SSB Pipeline programme, which aims to provide rural children with a rain poncho to keep them dry, healthy and in school.

Buy a rain poncho


Many of the shoebox donors contributed to this project too, and for that we are very grateful. According to sources at SSB head office, we have already received enough funds for 300 poncho’s!

As you can imagine there are many thousands of youngsters out there that, during the rainy season, have to slosh through downpours and mud for kilometers just to get to school. Many of these little ones get sick, because they have no means to stay dry and this, in turn, means that they lose precious days in school due to illness. In addition to this, consider the lack of healthcare and proper medicine in the rural areas, not to mention the fact that these children have no nice, warm homes and clothes or healthy food to eat. They, more often than not, live in tiny shacks without electric

y or plumbing, with their unemployed parents and siblings. Remember, Santa comes but once a year, and, although that one filled shoebox brings so much joy and fulfillment it remains only ONE box for ONE child. The box will not keep him dry and healthy….or warm and fed. Hence this initiative, which will contribute to keeping the children of South Africa educated by keeping them dry. By purchasing a rain poncho, you will actually be doing your share to secure the future of our country; you will be ensuring education (#1), avoiding disease (#2), creating awareness (#3) and laying the foundation for a culture of caring in today’s children – the leaders of tomorrow (#4) ….so PLEASE consider purchasing one NOW for just R 200-00.

SSB rain poncho @ R 200-00

The Poncho

Proudly made in South Africa, the specifications of the rain poncho’s are:

  • Printable, water-proof fabric, in dark green or blue
  • Sealed stitching
  • One full-colour print of the SSB logo
  • Extra length in the back to accommodate a backpack
  • Reaches below the knees
  • Visor in hood
  • Draw-string in neck (no zip)
  • Reflective tape in compliance with industry safety standards
  • Reflective colour panelling for daytime visibility
  • No sleeves – hand ”apertures” with flaps to seal
  • Storage baggie attached inside poncho with a carabiner

This year the rain poncho’s will be delivered to farm schools around the Swartland area at the beginning of the second term, just before the winter rainfall sets in.

The deadline to purchase a poncho has been extended until 13 February 2015. You can click here to purchase one now or visit the website for more information.

The Santa Shoebox team thanks you for your loyal support! Without our volunteers, donors and sponsors the work would be futile.

Become a volunteer

Click on image to become part of the miracle

Would you like to coordinate a project in your area? Contact us here.

Would you like to volunteer? Click here.

Or click on the image below to visit the Santa Shoebox website or find SSB on Facebook and Twitter.

SSB logo