So you want to give back this festive season or all year round?
Since starting my own little drive, I get quite a few requests about donation drop-offs, volunteering spots and general information about charities. I’ve been busy organising drop-offs and volunteering since 2014 so I figured it was time to list where you can get started in Cape Town.
St Anne’s Homes
Located in Woodstock, this organisation is known for assisting homeless at-risk women and their children. St Anne’s takes donations (of any kind) and has an application form for potential volunteers. I’ve been supporting them with donations since 2014 and really love the work they do. For more information, head on over to their website.
The Haven Night Shelter
There are several Haven offices/shelters located in and around Cape Town. You can drop off goods or participate in their Buy-A-Bed campaign, which allows people to make the shelter more accessible for homeless people. You pay for a few nights upfront and assist the shelter in housing other homeless people who may not have the funds to stay for the night. The Haven also has a volunteer program, which is perfect for a big group to spend some time giving back. Get all the details from the official website.
Pride Shelter Trust
The only LGBTQIAP+ short term residential facility shelter in Africa (yes, really), the Pride Shelter does incredible work. It’s hard enough to come out, then having to deal with being displaced? The Pride Shelter provides a very necessary service in the Mother City. According to the official website, “over its 6-year history, The Pride Shelter has aided and accommodated over 700 LGBTI+ individuals facing a crisis/trauma period in their lives”. You can find out about volunteering, donations and their fundraising market on their website and Facebook page.
Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust
One of the first places I ever volunteered – Rape Crisis is one of the first organisations that provides support to survivors. Tackling community issues, providing resources and counselling to those surviving sexual assault all form part of organisation’s values. The office in Observatory takes book donations as they have a free book library. Donate your books, your money and your time here. Follow them on social media to find out about events and other ways you can help.
There are many more organisations and charities, but these the ones I’ve been involved with personally. If you don’t live in Cape Town, I’m sure it’s possible to find one in your area or to help with financial contributions.
Another thing, the festive season is a tough time for some folks. The Christmas spirit can be hard to muster up, when you’re in an abusive home, going through financial issues or dealing with mental health. Please understand this when people don’t want to bring out the mistletoe or eat trifle again.
I personally detest Christmas but I love giving back. I use the festive season to declutter, cleanse and take care of my damn self. I am proudly Grinch-y too, unless we’re listening to Mariah Carey’s Christmas album.
Hope this helps,