Spread love this Christmas like Pearly Rose McGowan, a six-year old girl from Glasgow in the UK, who spent Christmas handing out soup and gifts to homeless people.
On her way home one day, McGowan was inspired to help others after spotting a man taking shelter in a doorway.
While unwrapping her presents on Christmas day, she realised how fortunate she was and asked her grandfather to help her make goodie bags for homeless people in the community.
The gift bags contained winter-warmers like homemade soup, sandwiches, chips, sweets and socks.
Goodies in hand, they travelled from their home in West Dunbartonshire to Glasgow city centre and spent the afternoon helping people.
Take a lesson out of Pearly Rose’s book this Christmas by putting a smile on less-fortunate faces.
This could range from pre-packed boxes for orphanages, foods like non-perishables, ready cooked meals, or taking the morning off to volunteer with your loved ones at a local shelter.
Extend your help at an organisation of your choice or try these:
This is a community-driven non-governmental, non-profit organisation that delivers many forms of social support throughout Cape Town township communities. Their work focuses on early childhood development, afterschool initiatives for children, and the wellbeing of the elderly.
Contact: 021 461 8338, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it: Hills Building, Buchanan Square, 160 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, Cape Town.
Baphumelele Children’s Home
Pop by for a couple hours a day to paint the colourful playground walls, assist staff with daily chores, like bottle-making, snack-making, teeth-brushing, cleaning syringes, preparing vegetables, tutoring, mentoring, coaching, and developmental play for infants and toddlers. Donations are welcome too.
Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm
Contact: 021 361 8631, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their
Where to find it: Z118 Dabula Street, Khayelitsha, Cape Town
Johannesburg Dream Centre
Make a difference while having fun at the Johannesburg Dream Centre, an organisation that aims to alleviate poverty by helping the less fortunate. Help out by packing Christmas boxes, grocery packs, assisting with stationery drives or even with marketing their initiative.
Contact: 07 81 402 8576, email@example.com
Monday – Friday, 9am – 3pm
Where to find it: Northlands Corner, 1st floor, Corner New Market and Witkoppen Road, Johannesburg, 2194
CROW (Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife)
Put your love for animals to good use and give a hand to CROW, Durban’s only wildlife rehabilitation centre. This organisation is dedicated to the rescue and release of all indigenous wildlife. You’ll get to help orphaned and injured animals such as monkeys, birds, reptiles and even mongoose. As CROW is funded by the public, donations are always welcomed.
Contact: 031 469 0583, firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday-Friday, 7am – 5pm
Where to find it: 15A Coedmore Avenue, Yellowwood Park, 4011, Durban,Kwa-Zulu Natal,
The Street store
The Street Store is a donation drop-off with a collection point in one spot at the same time. This helps those in need to shop for what they want, and allows donors the opportunity to meet the homeless, and overcome their stereotypes.
The initiative encourages one-on-one interaction; all donations are made on the day. The best way to get in touch with this initiative is to keep an eye out for upcoming events. If you want to host a pop-up in your community, download their guidebook and designs.
Where to find it: The location varies. Subscribe to their newsletter to stay up to date.