It is estimated that over 13,000 children live in residential care facilities and well over 10,000 more live on the streets of South Africa. When thinking in these terms, it can feel overwhelming to consider making any kind of meaningful difference to the situation.

However, according to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, if we each just contribute in our own small way, we could collectively effect greater change within our communities.   

“In the spirit of the season, RE/MAX of Southern Africa is inviting our network to set up collection bins at their offices for our annual National Toy & Book Collection drive. For the months of December and January, we invite the public to drop off donations of toys, books, stationary supplies and children’s clothing to their local participating offices. At the end of January 2019, all donations will be dropped off at various local charities and children’s organisations across the country,” Goslett explains.

If you’re unable to donate, RE/MAX of Southern African has researched a few other ways you can give back this festive season:

Recycle what you already have
Go through your home and donate whatever you’re not using to a local charity shop, orphanage or NPO. If you’re creative, consider what you have at home that can be used to create craft project toys. There are loads of fun craft projects tutorials you can follow online. Though small, these toys will be greatly appreciated by children who would have received nothing if it weren’t for your efforts.

Give the gift of time
Cash can be incredibly tight this time of year. Luckily, you can still give back by volunteering at a local charity or non-profit organisation. Bake some biscuits and spend some time at local orphanage or bring a few children’s books to a local hospital and volunteer some time to read to a few patients.

Don’t neglect our furry friends
Animal shelters are always in need of some extra help, especially over the festive season when many animals are abandoned by negligent holiday goers. Lend these organisations some of your time by walking the dogs and cleaning the cages, donate some pet food, or write out a cheque if you have the funds available.