" Well, you have kept the fast and learned what it means to go hungry. Now leave your fire unlit for a day and find out what it is like for those who have no heat in their homes! Go without shoes some day; tread barefoot in the snow and ice to find out how it is for those who always go barefoot through the mud and slush! Leave your windows open one day and see what it is like to live in a house without them!Go out in the street without your coat some cold winters day, just to see how it is for those who have no coats at all! As long as your stomach is full, you will know nothing about the condition of the starving; as long as your house is warm, you will not understand the actions of those who live without heat; as long as your own feet are well shod, as long as you have thick clothes to wear, you will have no idea of the state of those who go barefoot and unclad.Satisfy the hungry, so that Paradise may love you. Clothe the naked, so that you may not be bare on the coming day of Resurrection, when all the rest are naked. Become aware of the condition of all those paupers and orphans, for your own wife may become a pauper and your own children orphans. The wheel of fate turns. None of us knows what is to be : what great wealth may be doomed to extinction or how many, now despised, may rise to heights of dignity and honour."
From the book "Irshad Wisdom of a Sufi Master" page 233, by Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak Al-Jerrahi.
The reality of South African poverty is extremely painful. Try to hand out a blanket and you can't help but notice a scantily clad child, another without shoes (it's -0 Degrees C), yet another malnourished. The queue commences at 6am (in darkness) for a 1pm distribution; snaking long lines, patient people, many physically and mentally challenged. These are among the unemployed masses, able bodied men, women and teenagers, able but unendowed, waiting without asking, seeking without beckoning, hoping without grovelling, implicitly aware that South African ubuntu, compassion and humanity will not fail their fellow brothers and sisters.As the roll out begins, eyes roll heavenly, faces light up, a sombre silence breaks out into joyful ululating; a warm quality blanket, nutritious hot meals, household hygiene products, nutrition packs and in some instances, new clothes are distributed among the fortunate few. Gift of the Givers invites you to participate in the largest winter warmth programme on the African continent, which has intensified in earnest over the last three weeks (details www.giftofthegivers.org).We welcome our new partners; The Star, Pretoria News, Cape Argus, Diamond Fields Advertiser, Daily News, Unilever and BP and a special thank you to all media promoting this campaign in the interest of the greater good of South African society. When next you tuck your child in with her teddy bear, warmed by an electric blanket after enjoying hot soup in thermal pyjamas, be mindful of the Mercies of the Almighty to you. Don't waste, don't abuse and don't shun the less fortunate, for what is reality, not too far away from our comfortable homes, is not a pleasing sight.Warm, quality blankets, gloves, beanies, new clothing and non-perishable food items will be welcomed.A contribution of R40 will purchase a high quality blanket manufactured in Malawi (we support SADC economies) and can be deposited into Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account 052137228, Branch code 057525.
Call tollfree 0800786777.Thank you to Jacaranda 94.2fm for their contribution of 7000 blankets and R80 000 in cash and to all the many donors who are making this campaign the huge success it's expected to be. Regular updates to appear in our partner media publications mentioned above.