It is more important now than ever that we come together to help our fellow South Africans through this difficult time, not only by supporting our local businesses, but by doing everything in our power to help those who are suffering.
Esther Perel – a ground-breaking Belgian psychotherapist – who is at the foreground in researching pandemic-related emotions, states that: “Nothing can take us out of our depression, guilt, or boredom like helping others. It gives us a sense of purpose. Just look around you – who needs a latex-glove covered helping hand?”
While money is always accepted by groups serving those in need, your time and effort is just as important, if not more so. When you volunteer your time, you let those you are helping feel seen, and that they are important and worthy of your time. Volunteering is a win-win, as those who require help receive it, and those who volunteer learn that helping others boosts your happiness and sense of well-being.
There are so many ways to make a positive difference in your community, beyond simply supporting local, as we discussed in our previous blog post. It has been amazing to observe that, while the need for assistance grows, so does the desire to help. If you find yourself in a position of wanting to help, but are unsure of how, we hope these ideas will give you some direction.
Fundraise for a cause you are passionate about. There are a number of organisations striving to maintain their work during the pandemic, which is especially difficult due to limited resources, making fundraising crucial. Forgood.co.za is a great platform that helps connect people to causes, where you are able to view a list of organisations in Cape Town that require a donation of goods or a monetary donation. The GP/OKCID has recently donated 350 masks from KARMA Corporate Clothing to Red Cross Children’s Hospital, law enforcement and SAPS Anti-Gang Unit in an effort to help those on the front line who are putting their lives at risk to help South Africa.
If you enjoy art, set some time aside to design colouring-in sheets to donate to a local children’s care centre, such as Nazareth House or an elderly care centre, like NOAH, to brighten up someone’s day. Art therapy is great at alleviating depression and anxiety, while stimulating the minds and imaginations of those who have even less freedom of movement than most during the lockdown.
Tutor a student. Students have recently had their schooling routine completely turned on its head, and may have fallen behind on their workload as a consequence. Thankfully, tutoring can easily be done over a computer with the help of online video chat platforms such as Zoom and Skype. A reminder that many are not currently receiving their full income, so consider charging lower rates to help those who may not be able to receive tutoring otherwise.
Help the elderly by volunteering to do their grocery shopping for them. Shopping isn’t an easy task for many senior citizens regardless of what is going on around the world, never mind when we are experiencing a pandemic. Our elderly are some of the greatest at risk, given a lowered immune system due to the effects of ageing and medical conditions. We can assure you that your offering to assistance will be greatly appreciated – just be sure to follow all restrictions and be extra cautions while delivering their shopping.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created even more of a demand for assistance to those in need than we usually face in Cape Town. So we’d like to appeal to each of you to assist if and however you are able to.