Updated: Nov 12, 2021
Love, like lockdown, works in mysterious ways. Much like ever-changing curfews, school closures and other regulations, love is a rollercoaster of emotions. You may never quite know what to expect, but one thing that always remains certain, is that there are many ways in which to show love.
The world has changed dramatically since Valentine’s Day last came around. Many people have suffered extremely tough times since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. And showing a little love now - in just the right places - will go a long way to making a difference in the lives of others.
This February, forget the cards for crushes and candlelit dinners. The month of love isn’t only about romance, so why not make it about giving back to others this year?
Here are five simple ways to show you care this Valentine’s Day and to spread love in this time of COVID-19. The good news is that you can do it without leaving the socially-distanced comfort of your own home!
Keep calm and Karri on
Schools have experienced significant losses over the last year, especially with the absence of the routine fundraising initiatives that are usually an integral part of their calendars.
After having a taste of what it’s like to be a teacher during lockdown, many parents probably understand much better the very critical role that schools - and teachers - have to play in the lives of our children. That said, large numbers of parents have also suffered income and job losses, and may be struggling to meet their own commitments. To help show teachers and schools how appreciated they are, secure school payments app Karri , powered by Nedbank) is paying it forward with a R500 000 donation to parents across the country.
“We are distributing R500 000 in denominations of R500 that will appear in parents' Karri wallets across the country. This will ultimately help schools by enabling parents to directly contribute to fundraising initiatives,” says Anthea Abrahams, General Manager at Karri. “We are also offering a R10 000 cash incentive to the school that raises the most money from a fundraising collection.”
Whether or not you #FindThe500 in your Karri wallet, supporting schools is a very worthy way to spread the love.
Swipe to show you care
If you are buying gifts for your Valentine, you can double the love by supporting schools and other causes in need across the country ‒ at no additional cost to yourself.
MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet aims to change lives “through education, community support, and helping animal and environmental organisations” with its community loyalty programme, which allows South African consumers to directly support initiatives close to their hearts.
By simply swiping your MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card every time you shop at one of the programme’s retail partners, including Woolworths, Bidvest Waltons, Builders, Engen and more, a portion of your spend will be donated on your behalf to the causes of your choice.
If you aren’t already a MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet supporter, join now and select the schools and causes close to your heart and start supporting them now.
Say it with produce
Instead of flowers, send fresh produce to the people you care most about. What says I love you more than a kitchen fully stocked with necessities and nutritious goodness?
Food is the way to anyone’s heart, but it’s also a major budget-eater. As many South African households have battled through the last year, helping out by sending someone even just a few basic groceries could make a very big impact.
Online retailer Yebo Fresh delivers affordable, quality household goods and groceries to communities within 40km of Cape Town’s central business district. Order fruit and vegetables, meat, grains, cleaning supplies and more, and send to a home, school, day care centre or organisation via the Yebo Fresh website.
Protect our senior citizens
As we all know, charitable organisations were hit hard when the pandemic struck last year, forcing them to have to work harder than ever before to meet the increased levels of need amongst the communities they support. It has also become more difficult for these organisations to host the same kind of fundraising events they used to, which means they’re having to do much more with much less.
You can help however! When you buy a Relate bracelet online, for example, you’re also paying it forward to worthy causes - and these make a very special gift for a loved one too. Many of the beaders are elderly township residents, who are more in need now than ever before thanks to the pandemic.
The DIG60 bracelet, available on the Relate website, is specifically geared towards raising funds for senior citizens, who are among our most vulnerable population groups. All proceeds go directly to Ikamva Labantu, who work hard to provide dignity and support to senior citizens at risk.
Reach out to your loved ones
Whether it’s a phone call, a thoughtful gift or a handwritten card, showing love is often as easy as putting in just a little bit of effort. After the toughest year many have known in their lifetimes your effort could be exactly the remedy that your loved ones need.
A lot of time has been spent focusing on safety precautions, the news, keeping up to date with ever-changing regulations, homeschooling, and so much more. It’s easy to forget to check in with other people to see how they’re handling it all.
This Valentine’s Day, set aside some time to just focus on your loved ones ‒ whether it’s a video call, sending them some of their favourite treats, or anything else they’d love. And don’t forget to put in some time for self-care too!