Cherae Olivier, assisted by her parents Andre and Yvette and friends David Botha, Natalie and Kasey Nel handed out teddy bears, sweets and cake to the children and teachers at Blessing Day Care in Diepsloot, just in time for Easter. Cherae has been wanting to assist in the community for a while now and realised that cheering up children was a good place to start.
“Children are very close to my heart. My parents and I once did a Christmas toy drive for the children in the cancer ward at Joburg General Hospital. We collected toys and handed them out to the children on Christmas Eve. I started thinking along the same lines before deciding on teddies.”
She and her family and friends collected enough teddies for each of the 91 children and another 13 for the centre – including a giant pink shark that the children adored! Each child was given a brightly coloured gift bag with a teddy, a chocolate egg and a party toy.
“The donors were just incredible,” she says. Cherae says she was prompted into action after she noticed that people have forgotten how to care for each other.
“In general I have noticed how the basic principle of valuing a person has declined. Not only in society but families as well. The drive’s goal was to show value to disadvantaged children and to bring that principle back.”
Cherae learned about JAM through her church – Rivers – and was then put in touch with the JAM-assisted Blessing Day Care centre.
“Blessings Day Care Centre is honestly absolutely inspirational. Precious, the principal, is an incredible woman! The teachers are absolutely amazing and the crèche is in immaculate condition. They have done the best that they can with what they have and one can see that excellence is a virtue there. The day was absolutely incredible and we loved every minute of it. We were very touched by it.”
Cherae is in the process of starting her own charity, Grace. Her next project is to find fans and fridges for Blessings.
“I believe that everyone can do something and that helping others grow and develop is vital! Although we cannot change the world at once, we can help those around us. If they in turn help those around them eventually we can change the world together. We live in a beautiful country and there is so much potential and many amazing people in it. Unfortunately, through circumstances, many are at a disadvantage. I believe by us helping as many people as we can we will be able to instil a sense of hope, motivation and purpose.”
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join one of her drives.