Johannesburg - Individuals, companies and organisations are planning a variety of activities for Mandela Day on July 18.
Nelson Mandela’s internationally celebrated birthday has become a symbol of active citizenry and community service after his call to the nation to serve every day.
This year’s focus is on food security and we can all play our part by volunteering about an hour of our time in honour of Madiba. Here are 67 ways to get involved:
1. Reach for a Dream is holding its Reach for Your Slippers campaign on August 1. Citizens can buy stickers at Wimpy or Makro for R10, to wear slippers on the day. Proceeds go toward Reach for a Dream.
2. Let your kid’s footie kit goes to a worthy recipient. Boots for Dreams facilitates donations of soccer kits to underprivileged kids. Go to www.bootsfordreams.co.za
3. Viva SA is holding a day of volunteerism at its village in Mamelodi. Artists will be turning shacks into works of art and they need help with cleaning, paint-mixing and maintenance of the jungle gym. Go to www.viva-sa.co.za.
4. Cycle for a purpose by signing up for the 94.7 Cycle Challenge on November 16. New routes include mountain-bike challenges of 30km and 55km on November 9. Go to www.cyclechallenge.co.za.
5. Joburg Child Welfare is using Mandela Day to promote exciting volunteerism projects. Go to www.jhbchildwelfare.org.za.
6. Donate R100 towards Mandela school diaries. The homework diaries, which cost about R25, are handed out to township pupils. Go to nelsonmandelajournals.com.
7. Visit HospiceWits in Houghton on Mandela Day and have your car washed for R67. Proceeds go to the palliative care facility.
8. Qhubeka suggests you spend your 67 minutes teaching a child how to ride a bike or getting on your bike and picking up litter. If you prefer the couch, donate R67 towards sponsoring bikes for kids in rural areas aimed at increasing school attendance. See www.qhubeka.org.za
9. Make sure you have registered for the MySchool card. Consider signing up for a rural school or organisation that looks after abandoned or abused children. That way, your shopping at Woolies will mean someone less fortunate benefits, too.
10. Teens who need to do community hours for school can register at www.communityhourssa.co.za, find a charity and log community hours that are recorded with the school.
11. Compass organisation cares for more than 100 babies and children who come from impoverished backgrounds and abusive circumstances. A R2 100 donation will ensure a child is looked after for three months. Contact Natasha at 079 323 3217 or [email protected]
12. Resolve to submit tips on possible crime in your community. SMS Crime Line at 32211 (at a cost of R1) or see www.crimeline.co.za.
13. Go back to school for a day. www.adoptaschool.org.za can set you up with a school, allowing your company to help improve facilities or beautify schoolgrounds.
14. Use your shopper points by buying a gift card and give it to someone who cannot afford to buy food.
15. Sign up for the CHOC walk on September 14. Proceeds go to the Childhood Cancer Foundation. E-mail [email protected] for an entry form. The 8km walk (R80) starts at 8am and the 4km (R70) starts at 8.45am.
16. Help spread the word about rape by being an ambassador for the anti-rape cause. StopRape was a successful awareness campaign run by LeadSA. Posters can be bought from Viva for R15 for display. Buy a dozen and spend your 67 minutes posting them at schools, canteens or community centres. Phone Meleney at 079 635 2964 to order your batch.
17. Place a money tin in the kitchen and collect coins for the Phuthadichaba community hall in Snake Park, Soweto. The hall, made from corrugated iron, hosts more than 50 pensioners every day for a meal, prayers and exercise. They desperately need a new building. Contact Wilson Lekgetho at 071 502 6494.
18. The Ripple Reading room needs volunteers to help create a reading garden on July 18 and revamp the premises in Lanseria. For more, e-mail [email protected]
19. The Viva school-readiness camp will run from Monday to July 18, culminating in a day of “fun activities” for the children taking part. Volunteers are invited to help on the day. Call Meleney at 079 635 2964.
20. Arrange a blood drive at work and bake a cake for the people who donate blood. If you can get 20 donors together, The South African National Blood Service will come to you. Call 0800 11 90 31 for forms.
21. Sponsor a guide dog through the SA Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind. If you can’t foster the pooch, donate money for the training of the puppy to become a companion to a blind person. www.guidedog.co.za or call 011 705 3512.
22. Clean the Hennops River with a group of environmentalists. Registration points for volunteers will be held near the Centurion Lake Hotel and Protea Hotel Waterfront. Arrive from 11am with gumboots and gloves. Call Sean at 071 421 2522.
23. Ride for Mandela in the Jozi Freedom Ride while also helping the bicycling empowerment network raise funds for a bike empowerment centre in Orlando. The 35km race to Soweto and back starts at 8am from the Nelson Mandela Bridge. Register at www.freedomride.org.za (free, but a donation is requested).
24. Ask colleagues to bring in donations for Jacaranda Children’s Home in Pretoria, which caters for abused and abandoned children and pregnant women. E-mail [email protected]
25. Buy books from Hospice Wits bookstore in Braamfontein, corner of Juta and Melle streets. The shop is open on Saturdays, 9am to 2pm, and weekdays from 9am to 5pm.
26. Food Bank SA is running a corporate food drive in Meadowdale. Company teams can sign up to pack hampers by sponsoring the packs. Call Ashleigh at 021 531 4811.
27. Drugs are a social scourge and LeadSA has been instrumental in the fight against substance abuse. Use your 67 minutes to ensure that everyone you are in contact with knows about the subject. www.san canational.org.za.
28. Meals on Wheels is holding a mass cook-off in City Deep at 8.30am. Corporate teams have signed up to slice, dice and peel their way through thousands of meals. Contact Michelle at 08600 000 700.
29. Sign up to educate a child for just R100 a month. Your pledge will help Sparrow schools. The programme follows a specialised curriculum aimed at overcoming learning difficulties in children aged 4 to 17. Go to www.sparrowschools.co.za.
30. 100+ has adopted Walton Jameson School in Pretoria and plans to beautify the premises. Winter clothing and food are also needed. [email protected]
31. FeedSA helps set up feeding schemes in townships. It will hold a winter warmer at the community centre in Thembisa. Donate blankets, scarves and tinned food. Call Candice at 083 556 0998.
32. Start a veggie garden on your verge and invite the public to take the fully grown veggies.
33. Canadian Cinema Under the Stars will present Music for Mandela – a Legacy with a Backbeat on July 17. Starts 6pm for food and drinks, 7pm for screening. High Commission of Canada, corner Arcadia and Hilda streets, Hatfield. Entrance is free but booking is essential, [email protected] gc.ca or call 012 422 3086.
34. Stop Hunger will be aiming to pack 670 000 meals at the Sandton Convention Centre. Open to companies who want to send volunteers or sponsor a line of packers. Contact Jean van Wyk at 011 872 2498.
35. Donate a new soccer ball to a school in an underprivileged area.
36. Get the family to pledge to use less water.
37. Toys for Africa will be visiting Johannesburg Hospital School to deliver toys and have fun. Contact [email protected]
38. Buy a pack of nappies when you do your shopping. The Love of Christ ministries are always in need of nappies for the abandoned babies they look after. www.tlc.org.za.
39. Instead of eating out, use the money to buy groceries for a family in need.
40. Create networks in your neighbourhood to tap into activities. Domestic workers and security personnel are often the eyes and ears of the suburb. Set up meetings to foster feedback and create an online group.
41. Offer financial support to Tape Aids for the Blind or volunteer your voice as a reader. The organisation provides listening material to people who are visually impaired. It receives no government funding. Call 011 786 6130 or go to www. tapeaids.co.za.
42. Donate your skills for 67 minutes at a local school. Engage with people you work with who may know a township school or community centre that requires maintenance.
43. Sign up to pack comfort packs at the EPIC foundation’s Mandela drive in Steeledale between 9.30am and 3.30pm. Register by July 14 on [email protected] The organisation hands out post-trauma handbags filled with goodies that help rape victims.
44. Sign up to be an organ donor, www.odf.org.za.
45. Package nearly new school books and stationery in bundles for handing out in the new year.
46. SMS the key word MANDELA to 38018. Each SMS costs R25. Proceeds will go to the National Council of SPCAs.
47. Organise a clean-up in a park followed by a picnic. Find a cause to back when doing a sporting event like cycling or running. Friends can sponsor you online using the portal www.givengain.co.za.
48. Nicole Heiman has many sites in Pretoria and Joburg where murals are pre-drawn and teams of schools, churches or office staff can simply arrive and colour them in. Call her at 084 284 6452.
49. Plant a fruit tree on your verge and in a few years, passers-by will be able to enjoy fruit.
50. Spend 67 minutes with puppies. Perfection Rescue (based at 41-71 Sneeubos Crescent, Pretoria Rural) is holding an open day. Donate a tin or bag of food and help feed, groom and play with the rescued pets. The adoption fee will be cut to R500 for those who wish to adopt a puppy. Confirm attendance: [email protected]
51. Hospice Wits will be selling Tree of Light globes and inviting visitors to post pictures of Mandela on a memory wall at its Houghton offices. Call 011 483 9100.
52. Kaya FM’s Run for Madiba 67km relay is at Waterfall Estate tomorrow. Support the teams who are running in honour of Mandela.
53. Miles of Smiles specialise in corporate CSI events and the charity arm, Family Africa, will be holding a music and drama day tomorrow. The public are invited to assist in handing out 500 pairs of shoes at its day-care centre in Diepsloot or to plan a charity day in future. Call Chris at 072 143 4003.
54. Adopt a cot for an abandoned baby by signing up with www.givengain.com. Choose “Door of Hope” as your project and pledge your birthday money.
55. Make contact with your police station’s community policing forum – you may be able to assist someone over the next 67 days by helping with admin, community awareness or just baking a cake for staff.
56. Register at www.ashoka.org/volunteer and wait for an event that you can attend or start saving spare change towards.
57. Buy a blanket for R67 and donate it towards Winterhoop, an inner-city campaign that provides warmth and food to homeless people.
58. Galvanise your community to improve open spaces by clearing rubbish and planting grass.
59. Donate some cash toward making the dreams of young South African soccer stars more of a reality. www.dreamfields.org.
60. Get savvy about the fish you are allowed to eat by downloading the SASSI info directly to your phone: www.fsassi.co.za.
61. Put together a small library of 67 books that you can donate to a school .
62. Buy a paw print. These artistic animal-inspired prints are sold at 28 vets in Gauteng. Proceeds go towards primary health care of previously disadvantaged animals. Contact [email protected]
63. Help Toys for Africa hand out stationery and interact with the children of Herberg Creche in Thaba Tshwane, Pretoria. They will be handing out pens and puzzles. toys [email protected]
64. Book a corporate “giving-back” day in Hillbrow. Mould, Empower, Share is involved in many ways and can arrange an educational and beneficial day for employees who wish to make a change in the city.
65. Visit the My Greater Good website for ideas on volunteerism. www.mygreatergoodsa.co.za.
66. Xpedia and Feed a Child are aiming to break a Guinness World record by feeding 3 000 children in 67 minutes at Supersport Park. [email protected]
67. Volunteer for LeadSA’s food garden activities at www.leadsa.co.za.