Spreading warmth and touching lives...

Recent urban statistics reveal that there are over 800 000 homeless people living on the streets of Johannesburg. Many say that for them winter is a hopeless time, having the authorities chasing them from street corners and experiencing a scarcity of food and donations. With winter fast approaching, we wanted to help make it a different reality.
Interact RDT started the Jerseys 4 Jozi initiative to uplift Joburg's downtrodden and prove their worth as fellow human beings. Each jersey we hand out is designed to be as fashionable as it is practical, and by distributing them to those in need, our goal is not only to spread warmth but to restore pride and dignity in the people of Johannesburg.

The jerseys are high quality, fleece lined and available in a range of colours
The jerseys are high quality, fleece lined and available in a range of colours

Since its inception, we've partnered with a wider Corporate Team to ensure that funds and resources reach those in need, and that we are able to offer corporates all the benefits that an NPO allows (18A tax certificate, etc.), as well as the much deserved press and media coverage.

CEO of Jerseys 4 Jozi (and Interact RDT), Dave Benjamin, and his daughter Naomi spread the warmth by giving 12-year-old Isifusi a brand new jersey
CEO of Jerseys 4 Jozi (and Interact RDT), Dave Benjamin, and his daughter Naomi spread the warmth by giving 12-year-old Isifusi a brand new jersey

Our aim is to distribute 20 000 hooded sweaters to underprivileged people around Johannesburg, begging on street corners and at robots as well as those living in shelters or visiting soup kitchens around the city, during the winter months of 2013.

Jodi, Steven, Tabang and Thabo, corner of Jan Smuts and Empire
Jodi, Steven, Tabang and Thabo, corner of Jan Smuts and Empire

We officially launched last Tuesday the 7th of May at The Clay Oven Settlement in Lonehill, and a Soup Distribution Point in the Johannesburg CBD. Joined by the cast of Jersey Boys SA, as well as some our corporate team volunteers, the response was heart-warming, and the transformation tangible. "It's amazing to see the difference in a person's demeanour and attitude when they wear something they are proud of, something that stops them for being invisible and helps them stand out," the Jerseys 4 Jozi team agreed.

The South African cast of the hit musical Jersey Boys as well as TV personality Penny Lebyane helped make the Clay Oven Settlement hand-out a success
The South African cast of the hit musical Jersey Boys as well as TV personality Penny Lebyane helped make the Clay Oven Settlement hand-out a success

So far we've been able to raise enough funds to warm 2668 people and counting. We're committed to growing the Jerseys 4 Jozi initiative and reaching more people in need. It's a chance for everyone to get involved and uplift Johannesburg and its people and your support makes a difference.

Yael Benjamin, Co-spokesperson for Jerseys 4 Jozi, hands out jerseys to some of the young people who frequent a CBD Soup Distribution Point
Yael Benjamin, Co-spokesperson for Jerseys 4 Jozi, hands out jerseys to some of the young people who frequent a CBD Soup Distribution Point

Any interested corporates can email, or call to get involved. We'll tailor a distribution channel that includes your employees and fits in with your existing CSR programme.

Members of the public can also help by visiting our site and donating funds or purchasing a jersey for themselves. For every jersey purchased, Jerseys 4 Jozi will automatically give another to someone in need on their behalf.

All smiles on the corner of Republic and William Nicol
All smiles on the corner of Republic and William Nicol

If you would like to get involved or simply find out more, please visit jerseys4jozi.org. You can also call 011 994 9960, or email moc.tdrtcaretni@izoj4syesrej.

14 May 2013 10:52

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