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

Pensioners in Germiston

Pensioners in Germiston

_Dis-Chem Foundation and Hot Cares BLOG IMAGE

HOT Cares Chips in to Change the Lives of Pensioners in Germiston

Hot Cares is always looking to make a meaningful difference to the lives of those around us, and we are constantly touched by the stories that reach us. In particular, the ones regarding those members of the community who fall into the ‘most vulnerable’ categories – children, the disabled, the elderly etc.

This story is a great example.

Hot Cares was contacted by Evelyn Herzfeld, who drew our attention to a group of 17 pensioners currently sharing an old army house in Germiston on the East Rand of Gauteng.

According to Evelyn, this group of pensioners shares a kitchen and there are bathrooms for ladies and gents, but they are constantly short of food, which, as you can imagine, is potentially incredibly detrimental to the health of these elderly citizens.

“They would also like help to start a vegetable garden, which they will tend themselves,” said Evelyn. “This would be a great help to them as they really battle. I mean, when I took them groceries to help out, they were the most grateful bunch of people, and it was an incredibly humbling experience.”

Hot Cares is so appreciative of Evelyn touching base with us and bringing us up to speed on the plight of this group of pensioners, and we were desperate to help however we could.

So, we contacted a lady by the name of Glynnis van der Merwe, who just happens to be one of the pensioners, and we were able to give her the good news.

Hot Cares will be providing her and her housemates with everything they need to get the veggie garden started, including rakes, spades, fertilizer, compost, seedlings and a hosepipe.

Hot Cares is also aware that the pensioners have been battling to stay on top of their laundry, so we’re also providing a small top loader washing machine, alone with some groceries for the house!

If you would like to contribute something to this group of pensioners in Germiston, send an email to

Hot Cares Helps Unemployed Ronel Griessel Care for Her Orphaned Grandchildren

Hot Cares Helps Unemployed Ronel Griessel Care for Her Orphaned Grandchildren

What struck Michelle Nunes most about her colleague Ronel Griessel was her absolute devotion to her two daughters – who she raised as a single mom under very difficult circumstances.

So, when Ronel tragically lost her youngest daughter to an act of crime, Michelle contacted Hot Cares to help Ronel take care of her four orphaned grandchildren, aged between 2 and 6 years.

The eldest granddaughter, aged 6, found Ronel’s daughter and could not understand why her mommy would not wake up, and why she was so cold. The other three children climbed in bed to snuggle with their mom in an attempt to warm her up so that she could wake up.

Ronel has taken the seemingly overwhelming responsibility of raising her grandchildren on with her characteristic devotion to family, despite not having an income. Ronel worked in the tourism industry, one of the hardest hit by the COVID pandemic and resulting lockdowns, and has not had an income for the past 18 months.

Having been exposed to the trauma of their mother’s passing the children will require long-term counselling, however Ronel does not currently have transport. The children also need basic, daily necessities such as groceries and schooling. Ronel will be applying for guardianship, which comes with enormous legal costs as well as trying to arrange a medical aid for the children.

Some of her former colleagues at Tourvest Destination Management raised some money to offer some short-term assistance, but with their whole lives ahead of them, raising the four young children will require a village, as we often say in SA.

Hot Cares will assist Ronel and her grandchildren with winter clothing, groceries and immediate day-to-day needs.

Ronel is a specialist in IT software programmes such as SQL, Crystal and Sage, and we encourage our community to get in touch if someone is in a position to offer Ronel employment – via

Hot Cares Helps Unemployed Ronel Griessel Care for Her Orphaned Grandchildren

A friend in need- Elsie and Samantha

Samantha got in touch with Hot Cares to ask for assistance for her fellow colleague Elsie. They both work at a healthcare centre and unfortunately, Elsie is going through an extremely difficult time. Elsie and her husband Pamfi have two wonderful children, a 4-year-old called Justine, and a bouncy six-month-old son called Francis.  They recently bought their first home, a flat in Ferndale.  A happy complete family.  That was, until two weeks ago.


Pamfi was working long hours from home, and he started to feel thirstier than normal. He put it down to the long hours, but unfortunately it was much more than that.  He had gone into kidney failure and was admitted to hospital immediately.  He was diagnosed with Covid-19, and they started dialysis for his kidneys. Sadly, his body did not respond, and he passed away six days later.


Elsie now finds herself having to deal with the emotional roller coaster of having to be mum and dad to two little children, grieve the loss of her beloved husband, and try to ensure that they do not lose their home.


Hot Cares thanks Samantha for her contribution, friendship and for reaching out to Hot Cares for assistance.  We want Elsie to know that she has many people standing by her during this immensely difficult time, and that Hot Cares will help lighten her load by giving her R5000 towards her needs.

Hot Cares Helps Unemployed Ronel Griessel Care for Her Orphaned Grandchildren

Logwood Village invites established companies, organisations, businesses and NGO’s to partner with them

Tim Plewman and his wife, Cathy, founded Cedarwood School for special needs children in 1998. Together, with the assistance of three other families, they were able to establish and finance the school.

Cedarwood School is a wonderful school and thanks to its success, Tim Plewman became involved in Logwood Village- a privately run home for intellectually disabled adults from 18-80.

Logwood Village has just over 100 residents. A large proportion are over the age of 65 or are indigents from disadvantaged communities that are sponsored by the village and need support as they have no one else to turn to. They have full time nursing staff, a medical wing, social work, and psychological support as well as care workers, ground staff and management. But more than that, the home provides a social environment that everybody is involved in, at whatever level they can achieve.

By the very nature of who Logwood Village looks after, they have a high staff ratio of about 1 to 7.  It all costs a great deal of money, but they managed to keep the monthly fees at about R8000 per resident.

Logwood Village also assists an informal settlement with work opportunities. They house 2 workshops where residents and workers assemble products for various companies. The Logwood Village workshop delivers a quality product at a reasonable price, on time, under supervised management and professional accounting.

 Logwood is currently supporting health workers by supplying PPEs – by assembling 380,000 face visors at a rate of 15,000 per day. They have also previously assembled electrical plugs, folded up to 1 million paper serviettes a month for the airlines, assembled Gardena hose fittings, and more.


Logwood Village invites established companies, organisations, businesses and NGO’s to partner with them by engaging and committing various outsource projects to the Logwood Village Workshop Zone, thereby engaging in our Hands with Hearts, a joint community outreach programme.


Should you wish to get in touch with Logwood Village to discuss outsource projects, or donate funds or sponsor an elderly or indigent resident contact 011-659-0480/0510/0586 or