To say it was a sunny time of the year would be lying, it was sweltering hot but we had so much work to do. Despite the heat it was honestly so exciting and enormously rewarding to get all the Christmas boxes and gifts packed for our deserving pensioners. We had our whole team at our Bulawayo warehouse packing away day in and day out. One day the clouds built up and as grateful as I was for the impending rain I knew for sure that all our boxes and stock would be ruined. I put out a request on Facebook for some pallets so that we could lift our boxes to make sure that everything stayed dry. The first call I received was from Mr Rashaad, he arranged 30 pallets and had them delivered to our warehouse and the next moment I heard from Mr Calvin Rademeyer who was kind enough to offer and have even more pallets delivered to the warehouse. Thank you both for your amazing kindness.
Now that we had all the boxes we were packing lifted off the floor we could continue packing these absolutely amazing Christmas boxes. It took us 2 weeks to get all the boxes and Christmas gifts packed and ready to be loaded onto the trucks for the rest of Zimbabwe because as eager as I am I can only handle Bulawayo at this time… With the trucks loaded and stacked to the brim they were on their way and I get started with my deliveries. I was lucky enough to have the help of Johan Schultz with his Bakkie on this trip because my poor car would never have made it with the weight of these gifts. Along with the extra full grocery box and Christmas Gifts we were also extremely grateful to receive an enormous mincemeat donation from Byron’s Meats here in Bulawayo. Byron Van Vuren was an absolute blessing, it took only one phone call to say that we would like to give our pensioners some meat and he didn’t hesitate for a second. He donated 120kg of mincemeat with a smile. His generosity was greatly appreciated by every person who received it.
Eventually all our boxes are packed, Christmas gifts Packed and special mince packs ready so it is time for us to start our Bulawayo deliveries. We have our water, snacks and everything loaded into the bakkie as well as my car and it is time to go. So on the 22nd of November we decided to start off with the Kitchens. We head off down to Queen Mary and delivered all the kitchen groceries, medicines and all the Christmas gifts. This year was a bit different though as we had some very generous donors who made it possible for us to give grocery boxes and Christmas gifts to the permanent staff at the homes too. Next, we were off to Railsteen Home, this was one of my favorite deliveries of this trip. I got to walk through the entire home delivering gifts to all our amazing pensioners. Sue Ferguson was one of the ladies that I had a gift for, she was so excited when I gave her the prezzie and smiled from ear to ear. Next was Barbara, she giggled a little when I gave her the gift and it made my heart melt. Next we were off to Edith Duly and Masonic Lodge and continued delivering Christmas gifts and groceries to all our special oldies.
Our next lot of deliveries was for Coronation Cottages. We started delivering and as we were melting on the spot the heat just seemed to become more and more intense. We stopped off and delivered to Mrs Christoff and she was so happy with all her goodies. Next we were off to Gloria Bent, Lynette Dixon and Oline Taylor, each one of them so very grateful for the goodies we were delivering. The more we delivered the more we heard from each person how these groceries had arrived just in time because they had nothing left to eat. Each time I heard this it absolutely broke my heart, the thought of these people that worked their whole lives to prepare for their retirement and now they have nothing.
That afternoon we reloaded and head out to deliver at Garden Park, the heat seemed more intense now and we were starting to feel exhausted. As we started delivering you could see the smiles starting as they knew they were next. Mr & Mrs Sutton were so delighted to see us again and welcomed us into their home and thanked us and everyone involved for what we do. We continued our deliveries and head on down to Mr Van Den Berg to deliver his Grocery box, Christmas gift and some mince. It was all smiles and he was so grateful. One of our last stops there was at one of my favorites, Mrs Battis received her gift with an absolute smile and she was so excited to open her gift. At last the day was over and we just needed to try and cool down a bit, unfortunately our electricity in Zimbabwe is extremely unstable and off more than it is on so sitting in front of a fan wasn’t even an option but maybe an ice cold drink would help.
The next morning Johan and I were off to the warehouse again to get the vehicles loaded and the deliveries done. Today’s plan was to deliver to the Bulawayo outsiders which is always quiet time Consuming as it is not homes but individual houses. Today I packed plenty of water as I knew what sort of heat was awaiting us. We head from home to home delivering joy to so many that day, let me tell you, there is nothing like seeing the joy in people’s eyes every time you give them their box or their prezzie. What absolutely shook me to the core was the utter excitement when I gave them their packs of Mincemeat and being told that it is the first actual meat that they are having this year. It makes me more certain that fresh meat and chicken is something that I need to work hard at getting donations for.
We delivered so many Christmas parcels over this period and my heart was overwhelmed every step of the way. It made me miss my father so much, it made me appreciate what he was doing for the pensioners for so long. Somehow it made me feel so much closer to him by doing work that was so very important to him, I feel so absolutely blessed to have the opportunity to do something that my Father loved so much. None of this would be possible if it wasn’t for each and every one of our amazing donors, you have made so many oldies so happy this Christmas and we are super excited to see what our next trip will be like. Thank you to each and every donor, no matter how big or small your donation it makes an unbelievable difference in people’s lives.
Mrs Caroline (Botha) Nel
Head office South Africa contact details:
Linda Schultz – email@example.com – (C) 079 6082676 (T) 013 7900934
Johan Schultz – firstname.lastname@example.org – 082 4979328
Section 21 Co Reg. 2007/034036/08; NPO Number 096733; Section 18A PBO No 930031642