I was hands on and facilitated many things, I brought people and their donations together, whether it was Christmas gifts or 2nd hand items or food, it didn't matter. I found someone who had something to donate and I found someone who needed the donation.
As a volunteer it was time that I gave and in bucketfuls, from cleaning to washing clothes, sorting through donations, delivering boxes of porridge, promoting organisations to just reading stories and playing with and educating children.
I also made a lot of things, handbags and scarves to sell to family and friends or at local markets, around 5km of bunting for decorating a Christmas Market run by an organisation for adults with disabilities.
I begged online for funds to buy a pushchair for a disabled boy whose Grandmother couldn't work as she couldn't get him out the house. I used the money to purchase educational supplies, cake ingredients, toiletries including adult nappies and Easter eggs.
I set up and ran social media accounts, I blogged, uploaded photo's, advertised and gained new followers.
I travelled for miles into unknown and often unsafe environments. I met some wonderful and inspiring people from Pastors, witch doctors and individuals and organisations that were helping their communities. I met and made life long friends with some wonderful people, who also like me gave up their time to build and furnish schools, source funds and donations.
I had the most amazing experiences.
But it didn't stop when I left South Africa, it changed, no longer there to be hands on, I took to the internet, contacting companies and organisations to fund raise, but without a large social media following, without an official charity status behind me, it has been difficult, it has been soul destroying.
I'm back in South Africa this week to work hands on with several charities, to collect and distribute christmas presents, collect and deliver 2nd hand donations, to deliver some educational training to the staff who run various educational facilities, play and read with the children, encourage and develop their education.
I am paying my own costs to get there, my flight, car hire, accommodation and food costs. I have money saved for various activities within the townships, but I can't do it all on my own, by myself and I'd really appreciate some help.
You can get involved in various ways, you could share this post with your family and friends, you can make a donation here.
All monies received will be spent directly on the facilities, not a single penny will be used to cover personal costs. I will provide you with receipts, upload photos of what your donation has purchased and photo's of the children in the facilities.