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According to a research study conducted in 2014, there were 18.5 million children in South Africa. Of these children, 4.5 million (24.3%) lived with neither of their parents; over 13,000 lived in residential care facilities; and an estimated 10,000 lived on the streets of South Africa. Four years later, the 2018 mid-year population estimates puts the amount of children under the age of 19 at 21.7 million. If we assume that the percentages remained the same, then, in theory, that would amount to a 5.3 million orphaned children in South Africa in 2018; 15,190 living in residential care facilities; and 10,850 living on the streets of South Africa.   

What’s more, in 2010, Child Welfare SA estimated that more than 3,500 babies were abandoned in SA. In 2017, Door of Hope (a Johannesburg based child welfare centre) reported that almost 100 babies are brought to their door by the police or strangers each year. Considering the above, perhaps this festive season might kindle your spirit of generosity to extend beyond just your immediate family.  

The festive season can be a difficult time of year for a large portion of our population. Instead of planning lavish feasts and expensive gifts, some are barely able to put food on their table or purchase new socks for the year ahead. In the spirit of the season, RE/MAX of Southern Africa is inviting our network to set up collection bins at their offices in 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, 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.

If you’re unable to donate to your local RE/MAX office, here are a few other ways you can give back this festive season:

Don’t have Cash? Give your Time
Cash can be incredibly tight this time of year. If there isn’t any room in your budget, perhaps consider volunteering at a local charity or non-profit organisation. Put up your hand for helping out at a local soup kitchen, pop some biscuits into the oven and visit a local orphanage, or spend a few hours volunteering at the children’s ward of a local hospital.  

Not a kid-person? Then treat our furry friends
Animal shelters are always in need of some extra help. Lend them some of your time walking the dogs and cleaning the cages, donate some pet food, or write out a cheque if you have the finds available.

Get creative with what you have
The first place to start with giving back is considering what you already have to give. Go through your home and donate whatever you’re not using to a local charity shop, orphanage or NPO. If you’ve got nothing to donate, consider what you can create with what you have at home. Baked goods and easy craft project toys will be greatly appreciated by children who would have received nothing if it weren’t for your creative make-a-plan efforts.

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