Mandela Day (celebrated annually on the 18th of July) marks the birthday of the late Nelson Mandela, and on this day South Africans are encouraged to donate 67 minutes of their time to helping others in need.

The team at Soviet chose to not only celebrate just one day, but rather to turn the entire month of July in to “Mandela Month” by giving not only of their time and energy, but also of their personal possessions to help those who needed a helping hand.

We would love to take this opportunity to share these experiences, they meant so much to us, and thought that they would possibly inspire you, as well.

Day visit to Huis Ebenhaeser (Huis Ebies)

The Soviet Retail Team headed off to visit a home that provides a haven for children who have been abandoned, abused or even caught in family turmoil, a refuge and a place of calm in what can sometimes be a sea of emotions.

Huis Ebies is located in Daspoort, North of Pretoria and is run and managed by Soekie and Johnny Thomas who look after the children, as well as some of the mothers who need assistance.

Our team made lunch and supplied cooldrinks to the children and moms at the home, as well as giving each child a goodie bag filled with sweets and chips to enjoy after we had left.

Each mother also received a Soviet handbag filled with much needed sanitary products and other goodies to help them in times of crises.

Our team also sat down and got to know the kids whilst painting on soviet sponsored shirts. Each child got to design their own shirt and enjoyed themselves greatly, judging by the huge smiles.

To find out how you can contribute to or support this initiative – visit their website here.

Mandela Day at Soviet Head Office

The team at Soviet got creative and hosted a lunch for the Head Office staff, the only requirement to attend was a donation of any denomination that they felt was appropriate.

Our team were so excited and were set up bright and early, braais were in place and our expert braaier’s were soon whipping up tasty chicken and boerewors.

Others in the team buttered what seemed like an endless pile of rolls, and soon the queue was stretched half way across the parking lot.

We also sold hot chocolate, which was a massive hit on such a chilly winters day. The team raised R2600 all of which we have put towards the Knysna initiative – to assist those who lost everything in the #KnysnaFires.

Soviet goes to Knysna:

Soviet’s Office Manager, Debbie Brummer, and her family packed up their car and trailer and headed down to assist with the aftermath of the terrible #KnysnaFires that raged for almost two weeks at the beginning of June and severely affected the area stretching from Great Brak to just outside Port Elizabeth.

The hardest hit areas were Knysna Heights and White Location, where collectively over 500 homes were destroyed, not to mention all the businesses that were lost because of these fires.

The team at Soviet really wanted to lend a hand, especially to the unfortunate people who lived in the affected informal settlements with no insurance to help them rebuild and who likely also had no job either, as the factories and businesses they worked in had also been burnt down

The Brummer’s spent a week getting together all the generous donations received, and loaded up to drive through the night to get to Knysna.

Upon arriving at Knysna they could clearly see the damage driving up to their first stop, and some areas were even still smoking, this being two weeks after the fires were put out. Tree roots and septic tanks were still burning underground, making the air extremely hard to breath.

The Brummer’s were taken to the informal settlement to meet many families that had moved here to get away from the fire and the destruction.

“We were greeted by hundreds of children, all singing and dancing, happy for our arrival, and we handed out clothing, footwear, beanies and backpacks to the children and gave baby formula, food and nappies to the mothers of babies. We also visited some of the elderly in the area and gave them blankets and food parcels. Everyone got something to brighten up their day.” says Debbie.

After spending the day on the outskirts of Knysna and lending a hand of relief to some of the effected families, The Brummer’s realized that although they took so much with them, that it was only a temporary relief to the people of Knysna.

Knysna is still a long way off from being totally rebuilt, and healed, but the team at Soviet will continue to lend a hand as they go along.