Quirk’s Gift Of Giving On Mandela Day

Mandela Day was celebrated across South Africa and the world, as an opportunity to pay homage to a very prominent figure in South African society. Nelson Mandela is extremely highly regarded by most, doubted by some, but is certainly a man that everyone is familiar with. On his 93rd birthday this year, it was requested that everyone try and take 67 minutes out of their lives to help someone else or do something for the greater good. “67 Minutes for Tata” was widely spread and our beautiful rainbow nation came back with many inspiring acts of kindness to help improve the situations of others. We, at Quirk, made a small effort that went a long way for many.

Our Little Bit

Danielle & happy sandwich bearer

The beautiful Danielle Bates, a marketing graduate at our company, came up with the idea that everyone make 2 sandwiches and bring them to work so that we could deliver to a school where they would be most appreciated. I admit that I cursed her on Monday morning when I was about to leave the house and remembered I hadn’t made my sandwiches. After spitting expletives all over the kitchen, I whipped up some cheese and tomato sandwiches and was on my way without a second thought. The majority of the team had remembered to do the same so Dan and I packed about 80 sandwiches into her car at 11am and headed off to Witkoppen School near Lonehill.

The school sits like a small, scabby spot surrounded by opulence and luxury and is made up of 1015 pupils, all avidly doing their

Smiles For Africa

part to get an education. Obviously we couldn’t cater to all of them, so we visited 2 of the smaller classes (most classes consist of 50 kids) and handed out sandwiches to the younger children who still have a load of growing to do. The heart break set in when Dan told me that some of these kids don’t get to eat all weekend as their parents can’t afford to buy food. They get meals at school, so Fridays are spent filling up as much as they can, and Mondays – I would imagine – spent making up for lost time. I can’t fathom the idea of  having an empty belly for more than a few hours. A few days is beyond my comprehension.

You’d never know about the lives they lead from their demeanour and attitudes. They all sat quietly in their classrooms, working diligently, smiling and greeting us when told to. Their work was neat and precise… they were real model pupils and little citizens worthy of the greatest praise.

Gratitude Is Gorgeous

Each little kid got a “Quirk loves me” badge and a sandwich from us; a handover that was met with clapping, smiles and beautiful “thank yous”. They were so grateful for something that is seemingly so simple. My kids would have been wondering why the hell some chick was trying to feed them sandwiches, but these kids were absolutely thrilled. More heart break ensued as each beautiful little being returned the favour by posing for the camera, each face overflowing with smiles and positivity. Our only wish was that we had enough sandwiches for every kid in the school.

Happiness is...

This simple gift of giving was something so rewarding for us that Dan and I decided we need to do it regularly; even once a month. We’ve also set a goal for ourselves for next time and that is to make enough sandwiches for the entire school. That’s 1015 sandwiches! Quite a hefty task but so insignificant in the grander scheme of things. From there we could progress to making muffins, baking massive cakes, making up snack packs with juices and sweets – whatever! We just always have to remember (and this is a stern note to self) that no matter how much of an effort it is for us, or how inconvenient it may be… there is always someone who is worse off.

I made sure to tell my kids about what we had been up to and try to make them realise how fortunate they are to have the things they do. I’m quite positive it hit home, but they might reminding every now and then; as will I.

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