Drive to collect blankets for poorer schools

MATTHEW HIRSCH

As winter approaches, a campaign that focuses on getting warmth to kids and keeping them in class is kicking into gear.

The project aims to collect 2 000 blankets for children in underprivileged schools in the Western Cape.

Lisa Levy, who is based in Green Point, and does communications for the campaign, said it was an important initiative.

The project was launched 15 years ago by a group of mothers who wanted to help by donating goods.

The head office is based in Cape Town, but it is a national group. One of the founder members is Fresnaye resident Dee Boechner, who was also involved in the Santa Shoe Box Project.

“Some of the schools that children attend are just getting in worse and worse shape. The children are cold and don’t want to go to the school. They find that when they supply the children with blankets, the attendance at school increases.

“They also get a blanket to take home which allows them to get a good night’s rest.”

The project, says Ms Levy, impacts on their overall lifestyle and also improves their ability to concentrate and listen during their lessons. “It is about improving education in the long run.”

The organisation relies solely on volunteers and Ms Levy started helping a few months ago.

“I thought they were doing phenomenal work and wanted to help improve the lives of impoverished people. To supply a blanket could have a positive knock-on effect.”

There are donor schools that sign up to be a part of it and help with this every year.

“I think everybody can make a difference. It is about ordinary people in ordinary homes who can make this difference. It is also important to teach our children about the value of giving to people (who are) less fortunate.

“It is a fantastic lesson. Something as simple as a blanket can empower someone.

“They are trying to teach the kids of today how to look after each other,” Ms Levy says of the organisers of the blanket drive.

“There is a beautiful unity in that and it is about teaching children how to become better people in giving. It is about the children understanding that they can have an impact. That is a very special part of the project.”

Ms Boechner says she started the project after she had her first baby. “It was based on discussions that a group of moms had together. It was about people who had a lot of things but didn’t know what do with them.”

She says there are campaigns throughout the year, but that this is one of the biggest.

“It is about encouraging everyone to get involved to make a difference in a child’s life. We have a small team of core volunteers and then more people would come on board during various campaigns”

The blanket drive will continue throughout June.

For more information or to get involved, go to www.kids2kids.co.za or call Dee Boechner on 083 460 4449.