Clean out your cupboards.

It’s easy to get all warm and fuzzy when we watch Oprah give away houses, cars and who knows what else – we talk about it, cry about it and get all emotional about it. But the truth is that we don’t need millions or even thousands to help others – it works on the same principle as the starfish story (see the story below).

We’d like to call South Africans to action – let’s start walking the walk! We will create 12 challenges a year and you can respond – as easy as that! We will, of course, participate in our own challenge – that’s just fair. The challenges will mostly be charity or cause-related but every now and then we’ll throw in a do-something-wild-in-Africa challenge, like bungee jumping, sky diving  or river rafting (I have a sneaky suspicion that I will be “otherwise engaged” when my co-workers have to do something this insane!).

The challenge for March
Clean out your cupboards (old clothes, shoes, handbags, blankets, food etc.) and give it to someone in need or alternatively take it to the Salvation Army, a hospice shop or any church to give out as they think best. 

Diary: My March Challenge
We discussed this challenge during last week and my opportunity came just a few days later – totally unplanned!  I heard that my domestic help took in three orphans (while they can hardly look after themselves – they are now eight in one little house!) and although I don’t have millions, I have a bit more than they do, which means I can help in a small way. When the “warm and fuzzy” feeling hit me, I recognised it for what it was and decided to act on it before I lose it. I stormed into Checkers with determination and grabbed a trolley while my eyes were frantically scanning the place for stuff to buy – okay, it was maybe not this wild but I was excited, okay.  I had to constantly remind myself of my very tight budget and my husband’s “Big Eye” – it was so easy to get totally carried away.

“I can do this every day”, I thought by myself.  I bought some general items like phuthu, rice, tea, veggies, soya, sugar etc. and added some luxuries that they would probably never be able to afford. The best part was a few yummy items for the kids (suckers, biscuits etc.).  At home I threw out some old clothes and goods that I don’t really use anymore and, after what seemed like a millennium, screamed “Happyness, come here, sisi”.

Her face alone made this so worth it – she accepted it with “Eish, it’s like Christmas in March!”

PS. I’ve also asked friends and family to contribute whatever they can.

Reference: The starfish story
There once was a man walking down a beach that was completely covered in starfish that had washed ashore. They were absolutely everywhere that the old man looked. As he walked along, he bent down and picked up one starfish at a time and deliberately tossed it back into the sea.

A young boy watched curiously as the old man continued tossing starfish one at a time into the sea. He approached the old man and asked him “What in the world are you doing? Why are you even bothering? You will never get them all back into the sea! There are so many it just doesn’t even matter!”

The old man looked at the young boy, bent down, and picked up another starfish. With purpose he showed the boy the starfish and said, “Young man, to this one starfish it matters!” And with that he flung the starfish back into the sea.

By: Elzet Pedersen
We can make a difference – one family at a time.


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