Autumn is here and as the temperatures cool down, the first thing I think of is how donations tend to slow down in the colder months.
Winter is a tough season, and so many of us are lucky to have a roof over our heads. I’m passionate about running projects with friends, whether it’s donating your money, your skills/time, or providing needed resources for charities or NGOs. While volunteering abroad has gotten a lot of scrutiny recently (and rightfully so, if like me, you’ve encountered real-life missionaries) – I do believe community work needs to be a part of your practice. If you’ve just moved to a new city, one of the easiest ways to make friends as an adult is to engage with local organisations to meet like-minded people or build a network.
One of the things I encounter when talking to friends is they don’t know where to start or how they can help any local organisations. I’ve rounded up a few local places you can support with your time, money or donations throughout the country. My tip is to find something close to your heart and belief system, whether it’s working with LGBTQIA+ youth, literacy programs or working with new moms – you’ll soon find something that makes sense for you. Recently, I did a similar round-up for House & Garden SA if you’re looking for places to donate your household items.
Have a look at the organisations/charities below and hopefully it’ll help figure out where to get started.
Founded in 2013, this non-profit organisation works with youth in underserved communities close to our coastlines. 9Miles offers young kids surfing lessons, literacy support, art, and music therapy amongst a few other services. Want to know more? You can have a look at the official site to see more of the work they do and how you can help. You can donate cash (set up a monthly debit order or use Snapscan on the site), food items or your pre-loved clothing items.
The Baby Box Project
Children are among the most vulnerable members of our society and if you’re a new parent or just someone who wants to help kids – there are plenty of ways to get involved. The Baby Box Project is an Johannesburg-based organisation that puts together essential items (like clothing, toiletries and more) for a newborn child, and gives them to moms who don’t have access to the basics for their child.
Statistics show that a vulnerable mom is most likely to abandon her baby in the first 6 days after birth. During our visits to mothers in government hospitals, we personally hand over a hamper of baby essentials, affording them the dignity of taking their baby home in new clothes.The Baby Box Project
Want to help? The organisation’s website has a comprehensive list of items that are needed for the baby hampers. You can drop off items in the Johannesburg area or you can donate money via Snapscan. If you’re a new mom who happens to want to donate breast milk, there are places you can do that in this country. Check out Milk Matters, a donation bank based in the Western Cape.
The Botanical Society of South Africa
If you love plants and have a knack for horticulture, why not try volunteering for The Botanical Society? There are a variety of options available: from volunteering online to leading hikes (if you’re experienced enough!). This is the step from plant parent to really honing in on your skills and meeting new people. You can visit the official site for more information about volunteering and how to find a local branch near you.
Riding a bike is a skill you simply can’t lose (or so they say) and it’s a faster, relatively affordable way to get around. There are many regions in this country where children and adults walk long distances to get to school, work or to get essential services. Qhubeka is an organisation dedicated to serving communities around the country and providing young children with bicycles to use as their own personal transport through their programmes. You can help by either sponsoring a bike, donating your money, fundraising for a school, or shopping the official merchandise on offer.
Qhubeka is an Nguni word that means “to progress”, “to move forward”.Qhubeka
Bicycles help people move forward. With a bicycle, a person can travel faster and further,
and carry more. Bicycles help people to change their lives. They are an accessible,
reliable, affordable form of personal transport.
For more information, you can check out the official site and see how you can assist
Hope this is helpful!