The 18th of July marks the birthday of our former president – Nelson Mandela. He became the country’s first democratically-elected president in 1994. After dedicating 67 years of his life and fighting for social justice, we get to celebrate Mandela Day. This is an occasion to commemorate and honour his commitment to humanity.
Although we can’t all be a Mandela (there’s a reason why he became a global icon), there is a little bit of him in all of us. Thanks to the democracy we get to enjoy today, we all get to say that we are products of his love for our nation. This means that we should always take the opportunity to learn from him and honour his sacrifices. It’s also why families, communities, schools and corporates are encouraged to spend 67 minutes on Mandela Day performing selfless acts of community service.
This year for Mandela Day, we decided to take action against hunger. Our Blake family took the lead on this one and rallied together to voluntarily raise funds that they used to purchase food items. This amount was then matched by the business in order to make an even greater impact on the lives of those who need it most.
We spent our 67 minutes making 200 lunch packs for kids which was donated to Clayfield Primary School and Durban Coastal Mental Health, 215 sandwiches for Feedy Needy and we donated 80 pizzas and 80 cold drinks to an old age home. Our Pietermaritzburg branch also spent their time making lunch packs for Voices of Pietermaritzburg. Our Mandela Day didn’t stop there and we continued our celebration by dressing in South African colours and encouraging teams to create collages of the life and legacy of Madiba.
Honouring the memory of Nelson Mandela also means standing up for the values that he lived for. It demands that we play an active role in serving our community. At Blake, our people matter but it’s important to remember that all people matter. Whether it’s sharing a meal, a smile or a kind word with someone who needs it, you have no idea the impact it could have on them and the way they see the world. On Mandela Day and every day, we hope that each member of the Blake family will continue to make themselves and Madiba proud through acts of kindness and joy. To all who helped us spread the love this Mandela Day, we thank you.