Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Giving back to the community

Looking at my little business and watching it grow from strength to strength, I tend to count my blessings almost daily. I really am truly blessed as not only was I inspired from a young age to be passionate about gift presentation, but I've been able to build on my passion and turn it into a fledgling business which I find so very rewarding in every aspect of my life.
I was approached by the Open Door Crisis Center to help them with their Goodie Bags for their main fundraising event of the year, a breakfast in which 250 business men and women are invited to hear about some of the wonderful work that the Crisis center does and to hopefully inspire those corporates to provide them with sponsorship and funding to continue the good work.


The Open Door Crisis Care Centre is a non-profit, interdenominational outreach organisation established in 1997 at the request of the local South African Police Services. The Centre’s services reach from Durban and throughout the Highway District and as far as Port Shepstone and Richards Bay. Our aim is to sustain a holistic, multifaceted one stop crisis and trauma centre offering counselling, social services and support groups.
The Open Door Crisis Care Centre’s real success is not measured by our impressive statistics or by the praise we receive from our peers. Our real success lies in the stories of broken lives that have been restored, in being able to provide comfort to a child that has just been a victim of incest or left abandoned. To ensure that a rape victim receives the proper medical and legal treatment. In reuniting a lost child with his/her parents. To providing a meal to a person in need. To be able to care and support an HIV Positive man,woman or child, or a family who has lost a loved one due to violence, family murders or crime related incidents.
Being able to make a difference in the lives of hurting people or families in our community is what inspires us to carry on – this is how we define success.

This Saturday, 22nd September at 09:00, my 11 year old daughter Emma, and I, presented ourselves at the Open Door Crisis Center's shelter in Pinetown, Durban, where we were to teach a group of ladies, currently relying on the shelter for a roof over their and their childrens heads, the new skill of making gift bags which would ultimately be decorated and placed on the table for the fundraising breakfast.
I taught about 10 ladies and one 9 year old little girl the gift bags first and then, based on the rolls of poly ribbon that the Center had bought, we decided that Poly Carnations would be something different from the norm and would make the poly ribbon look that much smarter.
The 9 year old little girl was soon trying her hand at making the gift bags and doing a jolly good job of it too, but I decided that she'd really enjoy the poly-Carnations as they were a bit more fun to make.  The gift bag experts very soon made themselves known and before I knew it, I had the poly-bow Queens and the gift bag Queens identified and everyone settled down into their respective jobs.
Below are some pictures of these shining stars who thoroughly enjoyed the new skill that they were learning:

The gift bag 'Queens'...

My daughter Emma helping out with the bow making.

The poly-Carnations proved to be great fun for these ladies.

That's me on the right with a lady who proved to have a real talent for making gift bags!

This was just the start, we need 250 of these!

Piles and piles of pre-cut paper, waiting to be turned into gift bags.
Whilst I only spent a Saturday with these lovely ladies, the work was far from finished and they will all spend the rest of their spare time over the next few weeks, making gift bags and bows.  I am so looking forward to seeing how they all turn out.
In giving back to my community, not only did I love every minute, but it reminded me over and over again, how lucky I am to have a loving, supportive family who stand by me and give me a helping hand when I need it.  I am well and truly blessed!


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