Just loved this great initiative by Netflorist! On Wednesday afternoon, the 9th of November, NetFlorist hosted a very special birthday party at The Sands in Sandton. This party was not to celebrate NetFlorist’s birthday, but rather the birthday of all the children at The Johannesburg Children’s Home.
NetFlorist and The JCH’s relationship started on none other than Mandela Day this year, bringing even more meaning to what bloomed into the most extraordinary bond. On Mandela Day 2016, NetFlorist set out to make 670 sandwiches in their 67 minutes. These sandwiches were then dropped off at various children’s homes, 200 of which were delivered to The JCH. Meeting Annette Brokensha, the Managing Director of the Home, resulted in the creation of a connection that neither organisation wanted to let go of and Mandela, the man who taught the world how to give, would have encouraged for more to be done.
During the holiday season, one custom that is shared across many religious and cultural traditions ranging from Christmas to Chanukkah, is the act of giving to others.
The phrase that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” is heard and quoted a lot during this time of year. Although holiday gift giving has often become associated with shopping aggravations, long queues (if you don’t use NetFlorist) and an empty wallet or purse, everyone can surely agree that giving truly is a gift.
With this in mind, NetFlorist asked for the Home’s birthday list, and since August 2016 every child at Johannesburg Children’s Home has received a personalised gift on their birthday delivered by one of NetFlorist’s dedicated drivers. This gift is not a typical hamper that you would find on www.netflorist.co.za among the thousands listed there, but rather a package filled with stationery, deodorant, socks, books, crayons, toys, an item of clothing and sometimes a special something that that child would specifically love.
You know that feeling of anticipation you get when your recipient is opening their present? If you’ve ever felt that, then you know it’s true: it really is better to give than to receive.
Many can agree that one of the most important parts of your birthday is the cake. Obviously opening presents is a highlight too, but there’s just nothing like the blushing red cheeks on a child’s face as their friends sing happy birthday tunelessly, the wishes that fly through the air when they blow out their candles, the loud and excitable screeches when that knife gets to the bottom of the first slice, and of course the arguments over who gets a candle!
Unfortunately, most of the children at Johannesburg Children’s Home have never experienced this feeling. They have never had their birthdays celebrated. They have never received gifts. And they have never had the privilege of blowing out the candles on a birthday cake made especially for them. These are all these things that we take for granted, knowing that our loved ones will always ensure that each birthday is one to remember forever.
Just like a birthday boy or girl give their candles to only their closest of friends, the guests at NetFlorist’s event were all chosen to be the inner circle of these children. Everyone was given the opportunity to sponsor a birthday cake from NetForist’s Bakery for each child at JCH to receive on their special day, along with their gift. They have also been given the option to go along to deliver the cake and sing Happy Birthday to their chosen child! Although taking photos of or with the children is not permitted, it is guaranteed that this will be a moment that will be documented in the giver’s heart forever.
24 cakes were sponsored at the event, and I am super excited to be visiting a young man who will be turning 15 years old, on the same day as myself, 9th January next year – I can’t think of anything more special!