In the spirit of Mandela Day, employees of Le Grand Chasseur offered their support to Herberg Children’s Home in Robertson by getting involved in the Robertson Wine Valley’s version of the shoe box project.
As part of the initiative, locals were able to “adopt” a child at the home and fill a wine box with gifts and necessities for him or her.
Those who sponsored boxes were allocated a child and sent a list of personalised item requests that had been carefully thought out by housemothers.
“This was the first time we were involved with this initiative and we did so because the orphanage is very close to our hearts,” said Habata Agri financial accountant Christie Rabie.
“We have quite a soft spot for everyone there and it was the perfect thing for us to do on Mandela Day.”
She explained that a group of Le Grand Chasseur employees were involved in packing up the 25 boxes sponsored by the Western Cape wine estate, which forms part of the Habata Agri concern.
“The Robertson community sponsored a total of about 100 boxes, so our 25 were quite a big portion of that,” she said.
“The boxes were filled with all sorts of basics the children could need.”
Rabie said Habata’s personnel were involved in the packing and decorating of the boxes before dropping them off at Robertson Wine Valley, who distributed them.
Herberg Children’s Home, which was founded in 1918 during the flu endemic that passed through the country, is currently home to 122 children.
The home’s assistant fundraiser and marketer, Christein Solomon, said the shoe box project not only alleviated financial pressure, but also lifted the children emotionally.
“When the box is marked with their name and filled with personalised items, it really makes them feel special. It’s the small things, like a teenage girl getting a Dove bar of soap rather than Lux or Protex.”
She explained many came from backgrounds where sharing was the norm, so to receive their own toiletries and stationery was most welcome.
While support came from various channels of the Robertson community, Solomon said their dream was to get everyone involved in the home.
“Every bit of help we get is a valuable drop in the bucket.”