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Hot Cares Christmas – Mom and Daughter Given a Chance at a Normal Life this Christmas

Sometimes there are stories you hear that defy comprehension and you just can’t get your head round how unfortunate some people are.

But, that was the reaction from everyone at Hot Cares when Penny’s email reached us, as part of our Hot Cares Christmas drive – a story that affected us all deeply.

Penny told us about Sally and Jane (not their real names), a mother and daughter who have fallen on hard times and just can’t seem to get a break.

“I’m not sure where to start, as they’ve been through so much in the past 18 months that it breaks my heart,” said Penny.

Sally is a hairdresser and Jane a final year architecture student, but for most of 2021 and 2022 they’ve been living on the streets, in parks and under bus shelters, which is obviously not the safest environment for two women. Proof of that is the fact that Jane was violently assaulted when she was just 15-years-old – an incident that had a huge impact on her mental wellbeing, leading to a drug addiction that she, fortunately, has been able to beat and is now celebrating six years of ‘being clean’.

“These two brave women, though, have refused to let their circumstances get them down and both continue to put on a brave face,” said Penny. “Sally really is a selfless lady who has never given up faith.”

Sally has continued to work at various salons to support them, whilst Jane has benefitted from a bursary that covers her studies and some of her travel costs. Incredibly, Jane has thrived academically with her results placing her towards the top of her class – all while struggling for food and living on the streets.

Sally’s work, though, comes at a cost, as she has to ‘rent’ a chair at the salon she works at, making it difficult to clear a decent income each month and afford some basic accommodation. Nonetheless, Sally has persisted, even in the face of challenges from various salon owners, and a while ago managed to save up enough to afford a deposit on a one-bedroom flat.

Incredibly, though, bad luck struck again when she was on her way to paying that deposit, as she was attacked getting out of a taxi, robbed of all the money, and badly beaten, to the extent that she was in hospital for weeks, recovering from blows to the face and concussion.

“All the while, Sally was concerned for her daughter’s safety, as Jane was now sleeping on the street alone, with rats biting her feet regularly, and living in fear of potentially being subject to another assault,” said Penny.

Sally has almost fully recovered from her injuries, but sadly, both mother and daughter are now insulin-dependent diabetics, due to their poor diet, which means they desperately need a small fridge to keep that insulin refrigerated.

“I really believe that this remarkable lady and her daughter deserve a break to allow them to get back on their feet,” said Penny, and Hot Cares couldn’t agree more.

Fortunately, a good Samaritan has come to the party with the deposit for a small flat and Hot Cares want to at least match that contribution.

Hot Cares will be dipping gifting Sally and Jane a fridge for the insulin, a Checkers voucher for a Christmas feast, groceries to fill up the fridge, a Mr Price clothing and homeware voucher for each of them, and we’ll be paying Sally’s salon chair rental for six months!  The total value of Christmas cheer we are giving Sally and Jane is R40 000.

We hope that contribution will at least go some way to providing Sally and Jane with some financial relief, whilst looking forward to Jane’s graduation and hopefully some employment, once she graduates.