I never write about my personal opinion regarding “issues”, but this next issue has been on my heart for so long (one of the many reasons I started The Grace Factory – TGF) that’s why I’ve decided to break the silence……

Background about The Grace Factory (TGF)

After my wonderful daughter Erin Grace was born in June 2012, I realised how much she had (and how many gifts she received which were never used) and this got me thinking how little other people had…… I started googling “where to take outgrown baby clothes”, but found nothing. I would drop off Erin’s outgrown clothes to the Zimbabwean car guards at our local Spar. I would even “recycle” small size nappies that I had bought and not used to ladies in my bible study group.  But these acts never made me feel like I was making a HUGE difference.  I then started TGF in February 2013, with a dream, no funding, no staff, but a friend who helped me with a website, social media etc. NEVER in my WILDEST dream have (I known, its cliché….) could I have ever thought that we would be sooo blessed! Now, 7 months later, we have an administrator (the amazing – Alison Wright), an active Twitter and Facebook page, a website and most importantly – we have assisted 35 orphanages in and around Gauteng!! 

I believe that children (especially orphans) are the most vulnerable group in our society and that it is our obligation to fulfil their basic needs (the need to be fed, clothed and have a dry bum).

So what’s the problem?

The problem is that we’ve done so much to help, but it’s only a drop in a very vast ocean of need. The clothes and blankets have been amazingly received by the orphanages we support, but their biggest need is NAPPIES and FORMULA. We have literally lived every single day by FAITH and have been given GRACE by the community, who so willingly gives. Every time we run out of formula, someone will generously donate R200 and we’ll be able to buy a tin.  Every time we run out of nappies, someone as generous as Sharon and Tanya say “we’ll help you” and organises The Grace Factory social (which was another amazing testimonial to the generous spirit of Jozi people- thank you ALL).  Needless to say, it is still definitely a DAILY struggle for us. I’ve had orphanages tell me that they give their toddlers Rooibos tea instead of milk, to try and let the formula stretch a bit further.  Situations are so severe that sometimes the homes are encouraged to let their toddlers walk around outside without nappies, as the nappies are to be used at night only.

What’s the big deal?

The BIG deal is the cost!

My daughter goes through approximately 4 bags (52 in each bag, size 4) of nappies a month, which on Saturday cost me R540. Erin also goes through 1 tin of 900gram formula (R150) a week! That equates to R1 140 a MONTH! And that’s for ONE BABY!!  Orphanages we support look after between 10 and 60 babies at any point in time. Therefore a small orphanage will spend R11 400 a month and a large orphanage would spend R68 400 a month, on NAPPIES and FORMULA.  Bear in mind, this cost does not take into account cereal, bum cream, electricity, rent, clothes, medical bills etc.

I know many people have suggested cloth nappies to me before, but this would cost approximately the same, as you’d need to employ an additional staff member to clean them, and this is over and above the daily washing of 10 – 60 babies’ clothes and blankets…….

My choices are as follows

So I look at it this way, this morning when Alison phoned and said, “Amy we have no nappies, can I use the last R500 Spar voucher to buy?” I had two choices:

  1. 1.       Turn them away for a week or two and they can source it elsewhere. 
  2. 2.       I can take a stand (for what I believe in, see above) and appeal to people of the community.

I obviously chose the latter……..

Therefore

Kind people of JOZI, if you know of anyone with loads of money and not sure what to do with it, if you know anyone at the large nappy or formula retailers or manufacturers, or if you have a friend who would like to donate JUST one bag or one tin (small or big), PLEASE let them email us at info@thegracefactory.co.za or amy@thegracefactory.co.za or do an EFT into our bank account:

Investec Bank Limited

The Grace Factory

Current Account

Branch Code                      580105

Account Number             10011575554

 

List of orphanages/places of safety etc. we’ve supported thus far (and continue to support):

1

Alex Clinic

2

Amadea Safe House

3

Baby behind bars

4

Baby Haven

5

Beinvenu Shelter

6

Children of Dawn

7

Chubby Chums

8

Cotlands

9

Door of Hope

10

Ethembeni

11

Florida Baby Home

12

Home of Mother and Child (HOMAC)

13

Hotel Hope

14

Huis Thandi

15

Ikageng Soweto

16

Impilo

17

Informal Settlement Network

18

Lighthouse Shelter

19

Maria Kloppers

20

Nazareth House

21

New beginningz Haven

22

Othandweni

23

Palliative Care – Baragwanath

24

Princess Alice Adoption Home

25

Rainbow Children’s Village

26

Rays of Hope

27

Resthaven

28

Revelation Church of God

29

Sparrow Aids Village

30

St Janes de Chantal

31

Sunlight Safehouse

32

Teddy Bear Clinic

33

The Village Safe Haven

34

Thusanani Foundation

35

Thuthuzela Aids Community Centre

36

The Love of Christ Children’s Home (TLC)

 

 

The need for a FULL tum and a DRY bum

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