The gift of giving


It is a new year, with new opportunities and challenges that are tackled with new hope. Like every year before, I start this January with my new reading list for the year ahead, Irma Venter and Madelein Rust’s two new books are eagerly devoured together with my reading light. After that I move over and start reading a book by Benescke J v Rensburg, God was there. This book consists of stories from celebrities and others about miracles that radically changed their lives.

Retief Burger writes in the book about the fact that God will let you stand on the mountaintop again. It was at a stage in this worship leader’s life that he experienced a low point and began to doubt his relationship with God. But at this time God revealed Himself to Retief anew.

I am so grateful that Retief and the other writers share these times of encounter with God with me as a reader, this gift of giving will find a resting place in my heart and I can’t help but think of how big a part GIVING and SHARING is also of me vocation. My vocation here at Solidarity Helping Hand. I love writing and speaking, so I fill my role as spokesperson every day with a big smile and excitement. And by being able to read what others have written, by knowing they are sharing their stories to offer new hope, it is a gift.

This year stands before us, on his two feet he waits for us to embrace him and to live our vocation. This year the Lord has given us, another year, more shared hours with our loved ones. How else but to give when we must, how else but to share when we can?

During the festive season, just like every year, my thoughts of gratitude again walked barefoot between thoughts of sadness as well. In my position at Helping Hand, I live every day with these thoughts of children who are suffering, elderly persons who have lost hope and persons with disabilities who have no way out. One sees and experiences sadness every single day, but one sees how hope becomes a verb and how people stand together to help these people.

As I sit and think back to the most enjoyable summer Christmas here in Pretoria with just my husband and my little daughter in the holiness of our almighty creator, I also think of how our branches, regions, staff and volunteers shared their time and love with our people nationwide. Each year’s Christmas projects are beautiful, serviceable and filled with hope.

I think back to Christmas in the Colonnade shopping centre, I see our volunteers manning a special gift wrapping stand, I see them in their Helping Hand shirts and with smiles on their faces – you can’t put that smile on it’s genuine one that is only awakened by living your calling every day. And these volunteers, just like all our volunteers nationwide, know what it means to work driven by vocations.

The space taken up was small, but the impact it made was huge. Not only was there a feeling of joy and cooperation, but the hope of helping students study was the agenda of every person who helped. During this period, the community not only wrapped gifts, but also collected a significant amount of R35 000 to support needy students with interest-free student loans.

As one thinks of all the Christmas initiatives, it warms every part of your heart, but for me it is special to know that this branch of Solidarity Helping Hand has wrapped presents and can thus help build a future for our youth .

Yes, the work is long, they wrapped gifts almost from morning to night. But knowing in your heart that you are making a difference makes the days shorter and the feeling that stays with you that much longer.

The generosity of those who wrapped gifts touched the hearts of the community. When the purpose of the Moot-Wes study fund was shared with them, it often created an even deeper level of connection. Each gift had not only material value, but also the value of the community’s compassion and support for the education of young people.

One of the most valuable and special gifts that was wrapped was a Family Bible. My husband also had the privilege of reading to our little girl about Jesus’ birth from the Bible again on Christmas Day, her eyes were on him and her ears were pricked but her heart, her heart was with Jesus.

People can’t wrap Christmas presents every day now. I know for a fact that my little girl and many other children will want to celebrate Christmas every day, but one also enters a new year full of new challenges and new efforts. A new year filled with new ways to make a difference, a year when “Colonade gift wrapping” will again be needed to ensure that our young students can go to study, even if they cannot afford it.

On behalf of the community and the Moot-Wes Study Fund, we would like to thank every person who contributed to the success of this project. This act of giving is not just a one-off event, but a continuation of a tradition that is rooted in the hearts of the community.

I acknowledge again that God is great and good. All glory goes to Him who made the success of this branch possible. May this spirit of giving continue and be a beacon of light for the future. May the community’s love and cooperation continue to flourish, not only during Christmas, but right through the year ahead.

Just as one saw the cooperation and the gift of giving during Christmas, one also sees it as early as the first school day of the new year. One sees how people come together to distribute suitcases and stationery to needy children whose parents cannot afford them.

One sees how Helping Hand’s regions plan new ways of fundraising to promote community development. One sits on panels where financial bridges are built for needy children. One can see how new students can study with funding from the Study Trust. One sees how a future is built by people who give and share, one sees how a better future shines for South Africa and one sees how a vocation of giving and sharing makes a huge difference in those who need it most. lives.

May we share gifts of values ​​every day of the year with love, empathy, hope, joy, vocation, faith, compassion with each other, wrapped in the softest of our humanity so that we can help others grow.

May our volunteers sow values ​​that work every day this year.

To become part of the Helping Hand family visit, also check out how you can get involved in your nearest branch and visit to support our young students.

  • Rene Roux is deputy chief executive of Solidarity Helping Hand.