Newcastle Lions Club brings a warmer winter to the less fortunate

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As winter sets in, a woman and her two children sit in their house, shivering from the cold. Their empty stomachs leaving them feeling hollow and alone.

Another cold winter awaits them. No warm clothing and extra blankets to keep them warm. No extra food to leave them feeling content. A tear of sadness runs down the mother’s cheek as she looks at her children. She did not want this for them.

As this family prepares to endure winter, they are not alone. Unfortunately, there are several less-fortunate families in Newcastle. All of them trying their best to make it through the cold winter. As they try to survive, who will extend a helping hand to them?

In the quest to alleviate the hardships faced by the less fortunate, the Newcastle Lions Club ran its annual Warmer Winter initiative. A campaign targeted at helping those in need.

Newcastle Lions Club members stand together for those in need.
The Warmer Winter initiative sees Newcastle Lions Club working alongside other service organisations and schools.

During the course of April, the Newcastle Lions Club allocated drop off spots at certain schools, as well as at Pick n Pay in Hutten Heights and Pioneer Park, Konica Minolta, Newcastle Spar, Newcastle Club and Dr Els Dentistry, where Newcastillians could drop off an array of items which included clothing, blankets, shoes and soft toys.

On Saturday, May 4, the Lions Club was able to distribute the items to those in need at Drakensberg Primary School.

“We feel the event was successful.  We had approximately 170 recipients who arrived on the day,” says Newcastle Lions Club president, Zarina Luck.

Recipients selecting clothing for themselves.
At Drakensberg Primary School, the recipients received an array of donations to make the winter more bearable. The generosity of the community and Newcastle Lions Club did not end there.

Vision screenings were also done by the Club and local optometrists to determine if they require further eye tests and glasses, which will be sponsored by the Newcastle Lions Club. Local hairdressers also volunteered to do basic cuts and trims on the day.

Davida van der Merwe, Vickie Steenkamp and Suzette Chamberlain of Davida van der Merwe Optometrist do their part at the Warmer Winter Initiative.

With 170 people benefiting from the drive, Zarina extends a heartfelt thanks to those involved in the Warmer Winter initiative.

“A huge thank you goes out to those in the community who dropped off goods at the drop-off points, as well as sending clothing items to the various schools who participated. A further thank you goes to the businesses who also acted as drop-off points. Thank you to the schools for their assistance and support before and on the day. A very big thank you also goes out to Pieter Hanekom and the staff at Drakensberg school for the use of their hall, and other items we needed – they are always willing to help with a smile, as well as Chess Security for keeping us safe.”

Zarina says a special thanks goes out to their sponsors who went above and beyond to make the day a success.

These sponsors are Davida van der Merwe Optometrists, Konica Minolta, Studio Elle, Body & Soul, Rubeena Jadwat Optometrist, Visual Eyes Optometrists and Dr Els Dentistry. “Thank you also to our fellow service organisations Rotary and Round Table for their support and assistance,” concludes Zarina.

Through the hard work and efforts of all those involved in the initiative, scores of people will not have to endure the hardships of winter without any form of comfort. Well done to all the participants for bringing a glimmer of hope to those in need.

Less fortunate members of the community get their hair done at the Warmer Winter initiative.
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