Winter Warmer 2014 – Lenasia, South Africa
Every winter, BAPS Charities in South Africa run its annual Winter Warmer drive across all major cities in the country. The aim of the drive is to donate clothes, blankets, hot meals and non-perishable food and household items to underprivileged and impoverished communities in preparation for the winter season.
On Saturday, 31 May 2014, BAPS Charities volunteers from Lenasia, south of Johannesburg, donated blankets and non-perishable food to two local beneficiaries: the Ebenezer Hannah Home and Phuthamahae Community Care Givers. Approximately 450 men, women and children from both centres were recipients of the donated items. The Ebenezer Hannah Home, situated south of Lenasia, is home to approximately 150 individuals comprised of HIV/AIDS orphaned children and destitute adults. The home was opened in 1992 by an orphaned couple that had a vision to take care of destitute adults and orphaned children and to provide love and hope for them in order to lead a normal life. Through understanding their needs for the winter, BAPS Charities donated nutritious non-perishable vegetarian food, toiletries and household detergents required for daily feeding and maintenance of the facility. Volunteers also spent quality time with the children, interacting and playing with them with the intention of bringing a smile to their faces.
Phuthamahae Community Care Givers (CCG) is a non-profit organisation situated in the informal settlement of Orange Farm, outside Johannesburg. The organisation serves orphans, vulnerable children and child-headed families with daily necessities and plays a role of a day care facility on a daily basis. The organisation was in desperate need of blankets, food parcels and clothing for the 300 children that they look after daily. Here BAPS Charities donated 28 boxes of clothing, 50 bags of oranges, 1000 cans of canned food, 300 blankets and other non-perishable food items. The visit culminated in the children thanking the volunteers by singing songs of praise in their local language. BAPS Charities volunteers were taken aback by the warm reception received by both organisations and plan to provide more sustainable support to both in years to come.