As temperatures begin to dip and we haul out our heaters from storage for their annual winter exhibition, an estimated 200 000 homeless South Africans roam the streets, searching for warmth and shelter.
The Purple Bandage organisation conducts an annual blanket drive to help warm up the chilly nights for the underprivileged. This year, the ‘Winter Warm Your Heart’ campaign took place in Vereeniging, Gauteng.
The NPO ran a collection drive from 3-15 May 2019. Once the blankets were accumulated, distribution took place on the evening of the 17 May, after Taraweeh Salaah (night prayers during Ramadaan). The Purple Bandage team, along with a few helpful volunteers took to the streets of Vereeniging, hoping to add some hope and warmth to destitute street dwellers.
In total, 116 hampers were given to the homeless people found sleeping out in the cold; in open fields or in front of shops and on pavements in Vereeniging. These men and women usually sleep outside with almost nothing to shield them from the elements. Purple Bandage mentions that this was also a way to show them that there are people who are willing to help and support them.
The Purple Bandage team would like to thank everyone who donated towards this project, as well as their volunteers from Roshnee and Arcon Park – which included women and children – who joined them for the distribution during the late hours of the evening.
The blanket drive is an annual occurrence on Purple Bandage’s winter calendar and each year, a different location or community is chosen as the beneficiary. A warm heart in a cold world is a rare and triumphant asset, one which many homeless folks will be very grateful for this winter.
For more information, please contact Mohammed Ravat on 072 885 2514 or email firstname.lastname@example.org