Christmas came early for hundreds of children in the Paarl Valley this month.

Through the Love My Valley Christmas Gift Drive, 352 young children each received a school backpack containing educational supplies, toothpaste, a toothbrush, a bar of soap, a washcloth, a sweet treat and a toy.

Additionally, 23 children received empty backpacks for the new school year.

This is the third Love My Valley project by Valcare and it was inspired by the realisation that thousands of children won’t receive Christmas gifts or school supplies for the new year.

True to the vision of enabling a movement of kindness in the valley, residents and local businesses opened their hearts and hands and donated Christmas gifts to the value of over R 120 000 through the Love My Valley campaign.

“We should never underestimate the power of small acts of kindness if done collectively. Not only did these Christmas gifts bring smiles to children’s faces, but 375 kids now have some of the basic items they need for the new school year, which will kick-start their education on the right foot,” said Elsa Fourie, Social Investment Manager at Valcare.

Good-hearted Funders connected with Worthy Beneficiaries

Local organisations and businesses, such as the KWV Foundation and Pure Legacy Foundation, as well as the Val de Vie Foundation, were some of the main sponsors of the Christmas gifts.

“It gives our residents great joy to know that they made a child feel loved and nurtured this festive season, and ready to start their school year with the basic requirements,” said Marli van Schalkwyk, Manager of the Val de Vie Foundation.

The Christmas gifts were distributed to a selection of Valcare’s nonprofit member organisations, whose beneficiaries are young children who would greatly benefit from gifts and educational supplies.

The beneficiary organisations include Ma’s vir Wellington, a nonprofit organisation that provides basic education, nutrition and first aid to preschool children and their parents and Mosaic Community Development, a nonprofit organisation that provides access to education and after-school care to orphaned and vulnerable children.

Other beneficiary organisations include Aitsa! After Care Centre, a nonprofit organisation that partners with both child and parent to offer support and guidance until a child reaches adulthood, as well as Inceba Trust, who create safe spaces for ECD centres to operate, provide nutrition and ensure children are prepared in body, mind and soul to face their future with confidence and courage.

“Many of the children in our Early Childhood Development programmes do not have the stationery they need to do activities at home. With their Love My Valley gifts, they can now start the new year with a brand-new school bag and accessories. You have no idea of the joy you gave to our children. You made them feel loved and appreciated,” said Lizette Ferreira from Ma’s for Wellington.

The best thing about this Christmas gift drive is knowing that these bags are not just donated goods, there are real people that care behind them. Real people who support us and our goal as an organisation. We are grateful,” says Wikus Van Rooyen from Mosaic Community Development.