HOT Cares Helps Blind Runner with Running Kit and Transport Ahead of Comrades Marathon

HOT Cares Helps Blind Runner with Running Kit and Transport Ahead of Comrades Marathon

Rethabile Hot Cares blog

Running is hard enough!

Just ask HOT 102.7FM’s Dylan Rogers who is constantly telling us how much work goes into training, getting fit, and then getting strong enough to take on the Comrades Marathon, which he’s doing for the very first time this year to raise funds for Hot Cares.

So, the concept of running blind, never mind running a marathon or half-marathon blind, just blew us away, and that’s what happened when we were contacted by Brigid Jaucot.

“My husband and I participated in the Wanderers 21km Road Race with Discovery Vitality and happened to meet blind runner Rethabile Taunyane at the start of the race,” said Brigid. “He was filtering his way through the crowd towards the start line without any support and this prompted my husband at the last minute to act as his guide runner, given that he had no-one with him.”

Following their discussion during the run, Frank was taken aback to hear of Rethabile’s struggles and how difficult it was for him just to get to the race, let alone having to get a taxi there the day before to get his race entry.

“He is totally blind, unemployed and pre-Covid had sponsors who helped to cover some expenses to allow him to participate in races but is now struggling and battling to even raise the taxi fare to get home after races,” said Brigid. “He is such a positive guy and generally goes to races alone and always finds someone who will assist him and run with him.”   

Brigid and Frank desperately want to help Rethabile in any way they could, and this really resonated with us at Hot Cares.

“If you can help in any way, we would be so grateful, and maybe this could be the start of making a difference in this gentleman’s life,” said Brigid.

Hot Cares pulled in Dylan and the Joburg’s Hottest Breakfast Show team of Tony, Bunny, Simon and Johnny, and they surprised Rethabile with a phone call to give him the good news that Dylan would be taking him shopping!

Hot Cares will be purchasing Rethabile a new pair of running shoes and kit, as well as contributing towards his transport to and from his next few races, as he completes his Comrades preparation and takes on the ‘Ultimate Human Race’!

Rethabile is an absolute inspiration and I’m sure many of you agree. So, if you would like to make a donation towards Rethabile’s running, please email info@hotcares.co.za.

HOT Cares Celebrates Mandela Day by Revamping Paediatric Ward Bathrooms at Baragwanath

HOT Cares Celebrates Mandela Day by Revamping Paediatric Ward Bathrooms at Baragwanath

Hot Cares Surgeons For Little Lives BLOG

Looking ahead to this year’s Mandela Day, the Hot Cares team got together and spent some time giving serious thought as to how we could do justice to this important day and pay proper tribute to Madiba – an icon of South African history – and we came up with something we feel Madiba would have been proud of, because he had such a love of children.

Our project this Mandela Day involves the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and the incredible ‘Surgeons for Little Lives’ team there.

The Hot Cares relationship with Surgeons for Little Lives goes back to December, when the team were on hand to help out 10-year-old Diego, who was suffering from acute appendicitis, had been operated on four times and had contracted septicaemia, leading to his aunt contacting us in tears, pleading for help.

Diego went on to receive life-saving treatment at Baragwanath, proving just how important the work that Surgeons for Little Lives do, is.

“Hot Cares was overwhelmed by the team of paediatric surgeons and staff who believe that these beautiful children deserve the same care and treatment given to those who are privileged to be able to receive treatment from the private sector,” says Carmen Rocha of Hot Cares. “Many times, these team members pay for the patient’s basic needs, such as taxi fare, toiletries, or over-the-counter medicine that they need but can’t afford, or is not provided for by the hospital.”

The Hot Cares team recently visited the Surgeons for Little Lives team at Baragwanath and saw first-hand what wonderful work they do, but at the same time, the challenges they face in this paediatric ward, where they have up to 40 children at a time, all needing life-changing operations and care.

One of the main challenges we identified was the condition of the bathroom and ablution facilities, which were old and hadn’t been maintained.

This is such an important part of the Surgeons for Little Lives offering that this jumped out at us as the area in which Hot Cares could offer some help.

As a result, in honour of Madiba, over the next few weeks we will be giving the bathrooms, ablutions and other areas within the ward a make-over and revamp. We will be putting in new baths and additional showers, reducing the supervision time needed, and freeing up more time for the nursing staff.  

The bathroom windows will also be repaired and heaters will be installed to keep the children warm at bath time. They will also be repainted and have bath toys and mobiles to brighten up the room and keep the children occupied, especially when they are in pain and having treatment in the bath.

Happy Mandela Day Surgeons for Little Lives and Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital!

HOT Cares Helps Sibongile Malinga and Nephew Set Up Chip-Making Business

HOT Cares Helps Sibongile Malinga and Nephew Set Up Chip-Making Business

Sibongile Hot Cares BLOG

It’s not often that Hot Cares receives correspondence from someone with a name like ‘Granny Groupie’, but that’s exactly what happened on this occasion.

That’s the name that Merle Fox likes to go by, and she got in touch with us about Sibongile Malinga, who she’s known for over 20 years.

“Sibongile has not had an easy life,” says Merle, “and I’m reaching out to you on her behalf.”

Sibongile is a single mother who not only supports her own children, but also helps where she can with her grandchildren who live in Mpumalanga.

“She’s a church-goer and a hard worker and is always open to learning and adapting to new ideas,” says Merle. “For example, I’m a big hugger, and though it didn’t come naturally to her, I’ve managed to turn Sibongile into a hugger! We’ve had such a laugh about it.”

Merle says “love never killed anyone” and we couldn’t agree more, with Merle’s actions displaying her love for Sibongile, who, in turn, is clearly so giving with her love, supporting her family and looking for opportunities to assist them wherever possible.

Another example of that is what she’s doing for her 31-year-old nephew Thokozane, who wants to start a chip-making business in Orlando, Soweto.

“Thokozane has been unemployed for many years, but he previously worked selling hot chips and vetkoek,” says Merle. “He’s a loving nephew and, works hard, and currently looks after Sibongile’s grandchildren.”

But, he’s seen an opportunity to sell hot chips in Orlando and Sibongile wants to help him where she can, working with Thokozane to develop a plan, including all they need for the business and what it would cost to get this chip-making business off the ground. That includes building in budget to cook off gas, so that the business is not affected by the dreadful load-shedding we are all currently experiencing.

South Africa has such a terrible unemployment problem that here at Hot Cares we applaud anyone who has the courage to help themselves and the bravery to attempt starting up their own business. That’s why we want to do whatever we can to help both Thokozane and Sibongile.

That means Hot Cares will be setting them up with all the equipment and supplies they need to get the chip-making business up and running, to the value of R10 000! 

That includes gas cylinders, a double chip fryer, a commercial potato chip chopper, two large commercial stainless-steel trays for the raw and cooked chips, potatoes, sauces, vinegar, cooking oil, and a trestle table.

If you are in a position to donate towards making a meaningful difference and would like to donate to Sibongile’s chip business, please get in touch with us by emailing info@hotcares.co.za.

Similarly, if you have a story to alert us to or a programme you’d like to partner with Hot Cares on, please send a mail to the same address.

HOT Cares and Buddy Changing Young Lives at the EARTH Centre

HOT Cares and Buddy Changing Young Lives at the EARTH Centre

The Earth Centre& Hot Cares

Horses are among the world’s most gentle and smart animals, and that’s how “Buddy” came to be the newest member of the Hot Cares team.

Stunningly beautiful and with an air of dignity, horses like Buddy have been valued by humankind for centuries, playing important roles in not only transportation, agriculture and sport, but also as a therapeutic aid, starting with the ancient Greeks, who used horses to help people with incurable illnesses.

Subsequently, equine-assisted therapy (EAT) has gone on to be used by medical professionals such as occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, psychologists, social workers, and recreational therapists, and it’s in this space that Hot Cares first became aware of the EARTH Centre, which is situated in Ruimsig on the West Rand of Johannesburg.

EARTH Centre is a non-profit company specialising in the field of EAT, supporting the disabled, the vulnerable and the disadvantaged, and quite simply, they do incredibly valuable work.

EARTH Centre’s Therapy Riding Programmes cater for people with disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, Autism, and ADD/ADHD, along with helping the deaf, and they’ve partnered with 11 special needs schools in Gauteng, providing essential therapeutic services to their students. 

Unfortunately, most of their work relies on sponsorship from philanthropic organisations and the public, and that’s to subsidise a team of more than 70 volunteers to assist with weekly lessons for over 150 children. 

Hot Cares previously assisted one of those children, ‘Ben’ (not his real name), from St Mary’s Children’s Home, with a hearing aid, after Ben unfortunately endured an incredibly difficult early childhood, suffering abuse that resulted in him needing extensive psychotherapy. Ben attends St Vincent School for the Deaf and is now one of the children using the EARTH Centre for therapy. There are very few, if any, psychologists proficient in sign language, which means the equine-assisted therapy offered by the centre takes on even greater significance for kids like Ben, with the horses actually acting as their ‘therapist’.

The EARTH Centre horses can currently only assist children lighter than 55 kilograms and the centre urgently needs a ‘weight carrier horse’.

This seemed like the perfect opportunity for Hot Cares to make a meaningful difference to the lives of these children and we were delighted to purchase Buddy, a weight carrier horse, to the centre so that all children have the benefit of this amazing therapy.

So, if you’re ever able to check out, first hand, what the EARTH Centre does, then make sure you keep an eye out for “Buddy”, who is going to be bringing tons of joy to so many children for some time to come!

If you are in a position to donate towards making a meaningful difference, please get in touch with us by emailing info@hotcares.co.za.

HOT Cares and Dis-Chem Foundation Come Together to Help Nelspruit Hospice

HOT Cares and Dis-Chem Foundation Come Together to Help Nelspruit Hospice

Nelspruit Hospice Dis Chem Foundation Hot Cares blog

Many of us have had a family member go through hospice care, and if you’ve ever been in that position, you’ll know what amazing work the people behind these organisations do.

That’s why Hot Cares was both saddened and excited to be contacted by Nelspruit Hospice. Saddened to hear that they need help, but excited, because we saw this as an opportunity to really help an organisation that does such incredible work.

Nelspruit Hospice is a non-profit organisation that provides quality home-based palliative care to people with life-threatening illnesses. It is staffed by professional nurses who are palliative care-trained and it provides physical, psycho-social, and spiritual support, regardless of race, disease, religion, or socio-economic situation, to patients living in a 30 kilometre radius of Nelspruit.

Nelspruit Hospice doesn’t receive any financial support from government and relies on donors and fundraising events to sustain itself. In previous years it received financial grant assistance from National Lottery, to help with operational costs and equipment such as electric beds, oxygenators etc. But, that funding has now dried up.

Further compounding the situation is the fact that Covid-19 has meant that Nelspruit Hospice has been unable to host fundraising events and has had to start using its reserve funds. On top of that, it has been forced to retrench one of its nurses, as well as the in-house admin/bookkeeper.

Nelspruit Hospice’s running costs vary between R110 000 and R120 000 a month, so it’s not an insignificant amount it needs to remain operational and in a position to provide this vital care.

Fortunately, Hot Cares is in a position to provide at least some assistance, largely due to the amazing relationships we have with some of the biggest corporate brands in the country. One of these is Dis-Chem and the incredible Dis-Chem Foundation, and on this occasion, Jacqueline from the Dis-Chem Foundation was on hand to join Nelspruit Hospice CEO, Landi Bezuidenhout, on Joburg’s Hottest Breakfast Show and break the good news to her.

That’s because Hot Cares and the Dis-Chem Foundation will be opening a Dis-Chem store account to the value of R7000 a month for six months, as well as petrol to the value of R4000 a month for six months! The total value of the donation – R66 000!

Hot Cares is also appealing to anyone who might be in a position to help Nelspruit Hospice to contact info@hotcares.co.za. You can also visit their website – www.nelspruithospice.co.za – or their Facebook page – @NelsHospice – to see what they do.

Similarly, if you have a story to alert us to or a programme you’d like to partner with Hot Cares on, please send a mail to info@hotcares.co.za.