More than a hundred blankets will keep Alexandra residents warm this winter, handed over by representatives of Sun International’s Maslow Hotel and Miss South Africa Liesl Laurie.
They handed over the blankets in the main hall of the Alexandra Health Centre and University Clinic, in the Johannesburg township. The event formed part of the Maslow Hotel’s winter initiative aimed at helping residents of some of Gauteng’s most disadvantaged communities through the cold weeks ahead.
“The Alex clinic went out on a drive to try and get corporate South Africa to try and support us,” said the chief executive of the health centre, Lebane Maluleke, “and we got a very positive response to our drive. Today here we received 100 blankets but we intend to do more with the help of the Maslow Hotel in July.
“For us to get the economic issues right in the country we need to understand that government will not be able to deal with all the problems. We need to all play our parts, be it in the NGO space or in the corporate world. We all need to do our part in uplifting the community.”
The hotel’s initiative includes a mobile soup kitchen that will serve hot soup around town from 1 until 31 July, effectively covering what should be the coldest month of winter. In the form of a food trailer, the soup kitchen will be doing its rounds through a selected number of townships such as Alexandra, supplying warm meals to those in need.
Laurie will hand out soup at some of the pop-up kitchen’s scheduled stops this month: “This drive is a great example of how small gestures can make such a big difference in the lives of the community,” she said. “I can’t wait to share Chef Millar’s delicious soup with those in need.”
Maslow general manager Johan Scheepers added: “As part of our continued commitment to our corporate social investment projects, we hope our pop-up soup kitchen will add some cheer and warmth to those most affected by the cold.”
A WARM EMBRACE
The winter chill poses a very real threat to the young, the elderly and the sick, and a bit of warmth may mean the difference between improving their health and seeing it worsen when temperatures drop.
It was with this in mind that the Maslow collective took to handing out blankets, a task that they made short work of with the aid of a recently crowned Miss South Africa.
“It’s such an honour and a privilege for me to be here this morning with amazing sponsors like Sun International. I’m blessed to be able to help other people,” Laurie said, addressing some 200 people in the hall.
Quoting Robert G Ingersoll, the American leader and free thinker, she said: “You only rise by lifting others… I know that by helping my communities and the people where I come from that I will grow, and that’s my encouragement to each and every one of you here today.
“You can help someone with a very little bit, whether it be your time, whether it be just giving them that plate of food, the little that you have can grow and bless others.”