Christmas handout for 150 children in Soweto.
Report by Megan
Beanies for Beings
Sunday 3rd December It was a tough day, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Gary and myself arrived with the Knit-A-Square team of ladies, Nani, Wandi, Mabel, Lindi and Vivian as well as the team of 20 from Meals on Wheels.
We were packed and ready for our distribution of food, toiletries, clothes, blankets, gifts, party packs, beanies and scarves for 150 children.
Upon arrival we couldn't even drive up to the tiny little tent attached to a shack in the heart of Soweto and had to carry all of these goods quite a way because of the road conditions.
It was hot, space was minimal under the little tent to set up, there were over 30 of us together to distribute, but despite that spirits were high, we were positive and excited.
The noise levels of the children waiting outside escalated due to excitement and anticipation and the Knit- A-Square ladies full of laughs, joy and song kept us going until it was time to hand out.
We opened in prayer and praise and allowed the children through to receive their hampers.
Some so tiny they could barely carry their gifts, alone, unsupervised, some with their mothers and others in groups of friends.
We handed out at the speed of light, our piles of gifts and buckets rapidly decreasing, the line of children carried on and on and on.
The little faces pressed against the fence and tent anxiously waiting their turn........ 150 gifts and hampers and food trays given out in 25 minutes flat.
The line didn't end. The little bodies still standing there empty handed. Our hearts sank, the festive feeling rapidly overtaken by sadness, guilt, disbelief.
There must have been easily another 150 children there that arrived and got nothing.
I can't explain how tough this past week has been, trying to reconcile the fact that so many went without.
The need is heartbreaking, soul destroying. I vow to never ever let that happen again.
The final handover that we did was 30 handbags and cooler bags filled with toiletries and gifts for the ladies and gentlemen who assisted was done with much excitement and gratitude from the recipients.
We left with heavy hearts and a new determination to make 2018 better for more children.
Scroll the comments on page 1 to read about another distribution with an upbeat ending.
What a wonderful, exciting day for the little ones who received goodies, but my heart sank when I read that so many children went without, their excitement quickly turning to disappointment. I feel for the ladies who were there, who saw the needy children and had nothing to give them.
Totally agree, Chris. I started reading with a big smile, imagining the excitement felt by these children receiving their hamper and gift, but how very sad for those who didn't receive anything and how heartbreaking for all the lovely folk who just wanted to give all the children a 'special something'.
I share your feelings ladies and hope that perhaps in the future every child can be reached.
I sincerely second Christine and Bev.....
I am so sorry that you were so upset by the children who did not get gifts. We will all try harder next year so that you have enough items for all the children. Please do not feel sad. You have done a lot, your very best, with what you were given by us. So many children will have been so excited and thrilled with what they got. I appreciate that to be there and see the children must have been dreadfully hard for you - but it will spur us on, I promise.
Rebecca, I had the same reaction as I was reading this update and will respond accordingly.
I agree with you and Mili K. We will do all we can for them. :)
Like others, I started reading with a huge smile. By the end, my heart was breaking. However, remember and enjoy the smiles of the little ones who did receive your gifts.
Thank you to all of you for the effort you put into this (and every!) distribution. Next year we will do better.
To all of you, a wish for a Merry Christmas and Happy and Successful 2018! xo
It is heart breaking but, as Glo said, please remember the smiles of the little ones who received your gifts.
How were you to know another 150 little faces would turn up ! So thankful that 150 children went home laden with pressies. Perhaps another opportunity will be offered to help the other children.
Here is another distribution...that ends on a more upbeat note:
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the beautiful blankets, hand warmers, beanies and toys! We dropped off the items for the Children of Remar South Africa. The children have come from extremely disadvantaged backgrounds, from severely abusive environments , and many have ended up on the streets with their mothers from no fault of their own. The people come to the organisation for help and care and have a sincere desire to change their lives. They are assisted to get back on their feet again to go back to their communities as responsible members of society. Wendy TA
I am so glad that these children got something to give them a happy day. I simply cannot imagine having to sleep on the streets. This all teaches me to thank God for all I have in my life and for the opportunity to help these little ones.