FCP prepares for next packing date

The comfort packs for children.

Volunteers who would like to help Friends of Child Protection (FCP) put together care packs for children can meet at the Gardens Presbyterian church at 9am on Tuesday September 19, Thursday September 21 and Tuesday September 26 for the pre-packing and Thursday September 28 for packing and distribution.

It has been two months since their last pack where they were helped by volunteers from the Silo hotel and Astron Energy as well as the various Rotary and Lion’s as part of Mandela Day and the month of caring initiatives, said FCP chairperson Antonia Zechner.

“Unfortunately, due to the timing with a long weekend before pack day, we haven’t scheduled a Saturday prepack day this time so are hoping we can have as many helping hands as possible on Tuesdays and Thursday leading up to the pack day on September 28,” she said.

Ms Zechner said the FCP AGM was held this past Saturday and they did a review of past packing days and looked at upcoming projects.

“Thank you to everyone who attended the AGM and also a big thank you to all those who sent soft toys or let us know what soft toys are on their way. Please let us know if you have teddy bears or other soft toys that you are planning to drop off for this pack so we can add it to our count before we confirm if we need to buy any toys,” she said.

Since 2007, FCP has provided comfort packs to Safeline, a child abuse treatment and prevention centre with offices in Mitchell’s Plain, Delft, Grassy Park, and Manenberg.

“Many of our children are from low socio-economic communities, where overcrowded homes and violence are rife. These are young girls and boys who have never experienced having their own space, their own toiletries or even a toy of their own. FCP has over the years put smiles on the faces of thousands of children at Safeline,” said Rochelle Philander, a director at Safeline.

Ms Philander said her team of 16 women works with children ranging in age from two to 18, both girls and boys.

“I have watched how these comfort packs have evolved over the years to meet the needs of the children. It is a true blessing to watch how a child unpacks their comfort pack and the joy they experience as they begin to unpack their very own toiletries, as well as a snack. But most precious for me was always the teddy bear inside. This teddy, parents have explained, becomes the child’s closest friend during their time at Safeline, a time where the child begins to understand all the emotions attached to this horrific trauma and then begins to heal and restore,” she said.