67 Ideas for Mandela Day

67 Ideas for Mandela Day

We have mixed feelings about Mandela Day around here, which takes place this Friday, 18 July. Not with the man being honoured, but with the time limit. Sixty-seven minutes may be enough time to do your grocery shopping but is it really enough time to make a lasting difference?

Nope, not really. But wouldn’t it be great if what starts as 67 minutes turned into 67 weeks, 67 days, and maybe even 67 years of someone giving their time to serve those around them? Now that seems more in tune with Madiba’s legacy.

So, here are 67 ideas of things you can do on Mandela Day, which we hope will inspire a lifestyle of compassion and service to communities and those in need around you.

1. Put together stationary packs (pens, stickers, coloured paper, scissors, etc.) for teachers at an under-resourced school.

2. Do a neighbourhood clean-up armed with plastic gloves and black bags.

3. Sort donated clothes at U-turn or The Warehouse. (Phone ahead to organise!)

4. Volunteer your time at a Haven Night Shelter.

5. Make ‘care kits’ (including a comb,  toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, face cloth, etc. ) for patients at a nearby government hospital.

6. Throw a tea party for the children and carers at a children’s home.

7. Offer to mow the lawn and fix up the garden at a nursing home or hospice.

8. Research an issue you’d like to find out more about and then share your findings with friends on social media.

9. Pack meals at Canal Walk for under-resourced pre-schools through Stop Hunger Now. (Register online)

10. Support local and visit the Department of Coffee in Khayalitsha for a cup of their finest brew.

11. As an office, make sandwiches to give to people living on the street – and why not sit and have lunch with them while you’re at it?

12. Organise a fun outing for children in an HIV/Aids programme.

13. Offer to read stories to children at a children’s home.

14. Learn First Aid.

15. Give blood. Find your nearest fixed donor site.

16. Become an organ donor

17. Host a dinner where the meal budget is R5 per person as a way of identifying with the millions who live below the poverty line.

18. Watch a free screening of “Long Walk to Freedom” at selected Ster Kinekor’s.

19. Set up a recycling system for your home.

20. Create a car pool schedule with your colleagues to cut down on carbon emissions.

21. Plant a garden or tree where the whole neighborhood can enjoy it.

22. Clean up a city park.

23. Go on a social media fast for the day and make an effort to get to know people who you wouldn’t ordinarily speak to.

24. Offer to fix things at a local school or organisation (paint, broken windows, etc).

25. Remove graffiti.

26. Help build a home with Habitat for Humanity‘s International Mandela Day Build Week.

27. Donate educational materials to Breadline Africa at the V&A Waterfront’s Clock Tower.

28. Walk instead of taking your car – and have conversations with some of the people you meet on your way.

29. Hold a teddy bear or book drive for a children’s home.

30. Take place in the 6.7km Fun Run/Walk/Cycle in support of New Kidz on The Block at Mooiplaas Wine Estate.

31. Organise a tea party for care givers.

32. Join the knit-a-thon at the Mandela Rhodes Place Hotel and Spa in support of the Little Fighters Cancer Trust.

33. Baby-sit for a single parent.

34. Volunteer at an animal shelter.

35. Adopt a pet from an animal shelter.

36. Donate books to your local library.

37. Collect and distribute children’s books to under-resourced schools.

38. Visit a reading club at a nearby school, church or library.

39. Donate magazines and books to an under-resourced home for the elderly.

40. Invite a carer to go on a relaxing outing to the beach or to a park for a picnic.

41. Throw a party for the residents of an old age home.

42. Mow the garden or clean the windows for a senior citizen.

43. Pick up groceries or medicine for an elderly person.

44. Go for a walk with a senior citizen in your community.

45. Teach someone how to use a computer and the Internet.

46. Tutor someone who needs help learning your mother tongue.

47. Donate your old computer to an under-resourced school.

48. Hold a mini-Olympics at an under-resourced school.

49. Take public transport for the day.

50. Give Beth Uriel a call and find out more about becoming a mentor or tutor for the year.

51. Offer to attend a high school class to talk to students about your career.

52. Find out more about the 9 week course to become a Lifeline/Childline counsellor.

53. Knit a blanket for someone in need.

54. Bake cookies and take them to a police station for the police officers.

55. Write a letter to a newspaper editor about an issue you care about.

56. Blog about a non-profit organisation that needs support.

57. Offer your skills (finance, marketing, customer service, etc.) to help an organisation run more efficiently.

58. Organise a prayer meeting with family and friends to pray for our country.

59. Host a movie night for friends. (Click here for a list of documentaries on social justice.)

60. Purchase U-turn vouchers to give to people living on the street.

61. Sign up for MySchool and donate to your favourite organisations every time you purchase something at Woolworths.

62. Make Hope bracelets in support of children living with disabilities at the Blue Route Mall, through the Chaeli Campaign.

63. Read the first 67 pages of Generous Justice by Tim Keller. (You’ll want to read the rest.)

64. Park your car and share lunch with a Big Issue seller.

65. Knit a Valuable to Jesus doll for Straatwerk.

66. Go through your house and donate some of your good quality items to a charity shop.

67. Make everyday Mandela Day!

Phew, we made it! Do you have any other ideas? 

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6 Comments on "67 Ideas for Mandela Day"

  • eulogi.rheeder@commongood.org.za'
    Eulogi Rheeder says

    So many great ideas! Aside from getting stuck in somewhere, I’m hoping to read the first 67 pages of Generous Justice by Tim Keller on Friday (been trying to get to it for yonks now!). Knowledge is power – especially in equipping yourself to make sure your 67 minutes have a lasting impact.

  • the2woods@telkomsa.net'
    Roger Wood says

    I think that for many of us who are involved on a regular basis with social justice issues the idea of Mandela Day is a bit of a misnomer. Why just 67 minutes we ask? What difference is that going to make.

    Yesterday I spent the day manning a table for U-turn at Constantia Village Shopping centre. The centre has asked various charities, NGO’s and NPO’s to take a slot each day this week in order to encourage people to be involved on Mandela Day. I was encouraged by the interest shown by the general public who were genuinely looking for ways to be involved, not just for 67 minutes but for a more regular commitment.

    Oh, by the way, Jacob Zuma as asked us all to be involved in cleaning up the nation so our theme was spend 67 minutes cleaning up your clothes cupboards and donate those surplus clothes to U-turn. Our bin is going to be in the Constantia Village Shopping Centre for the next month so thos in that area can easily drop them off there.

    Another of our suggestions is for a group of friends to visit one of the U-turn charity stores on Mandela Day and spend R67. For R67 you will be able to buy yourself some really nice pieces of clothing. Before visiting the store write out an encouraging verse or saying onto a card and give it to one of the assistance in the shop just to lift them up. Remember those working in the shop are all people in the Life Change Program of rehabilitation. We have a store in Maynard Mall, Southfield and Philippi.

    Lastly for each one of us, I suggest we spend time reading through Psalm 67. Meditate on the words and turn them into a prayer for those in need and for those seeking to help them. I.e. ‘May God be merciful and bless those in need. May his face smile with favour on them……….’

    • admin says

      Thank you for all these great suggestions! :)

  • stacykleinhans@yahoo.com'
    Stacy says

    Great article! There is so much we can do locally to make a big difference. Thanks for the post.
    I did get a scary severe virus alert though when trying to click through to the childine/lifeline link though – perhaps you could check this? Am happy to provide a screenshot – just get in touch with me via email and I can send. And do you have another link for the Mandela Knit-a-thon please? I would love to get involved but the link seems to be on the blink :)
    Thanks!

  • kmroach45@gmail.com'
    Karen Roach says

    Wow! I am truly inspired!:-)

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