Making a Difference Across South Africa
Planning for the WinterHope campaign kicked off in April, with a focus on spreading its reach throughout South Africa. RSG radio station became our invaluable media partner, supporting and promoting WinterHope. They encouraged listeners across the country to contribute to this vital cause. Eloise Cupido, announcer of the program ‘Intussen’, visited two of the projects, witnessing the impact of WinterHope firsthand.
While winter challenges are universal, regions like the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal had to brace themselves for the possibility of severe storms and devastating consequences. Unfortunately, those fears became a reality as heavy rains and floods hit the Western Cape. MES activated storm shelters, providing aid to many in need. Hundreds of blankets were distributed, along with warm clothes and food. In KwaZulu-Natal, lives were lost and some areas became temporarily inaccessible. However, organisations like His Hands in Durban stepped in, extending their help wherever possible. His Hands successfully conducted WinterHope outreaches in the South and North Coast of KZN, Transkei, and parts of Durban, even in what is often considered a “dangerous area.” Dr. Hennie Combrink described the experience as ‘being accepted with love’, emphasising the importance of giving something to bring relief to these people’s winter needs.
Every province faces harsh winter conditions, requiring a continuous supply of blankets, non-perishable food, warm clothing, and shelter. Towers of Hope in Bloemfontein served 1,789 meals at their soup kitchen, distributed 374 cooked Sunday meals, and handed out 3,183 food parcels to marginalised communities. MES runs a soup kitchen in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, providing daily meals to many adults and children. Other MES branches are located in Kempton Park, Gqeberha, and Cape Town. Most shelters are run by MES. PEN receives a significant portion of its donations from churches, including handmade items filled with love. We feel privileged to bless the destitute and children in PEN daycare centers with these articles. So far, over 2 300 blankets have been distributed, along with 6 900 meals served, 3 800 food parcels handed out, 286 bags of clothing, 213 pairs of shoes, 1 900 beanies, and 500 Bibles.
Many new organisations have joined the WinterHope umbrella, and while not all received strong support from local communities during this campaign, there is ample time to implement effective marketing strategies for next year. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to every person, church, business, and organisation that contributed to the WinterHope campaign. Without your support, none of this would have been possible. Your generosity has provided shelter, clothing, food, and hope to vulnerable individuals on the fringes of society. We are privileged to welcome each and every one of you into the WinterHope family. Let us continue healing our communities and extending a helping hand where it is needed most.