As anticipation builds across the country for the upcoming Nelson Mandela International Day on 18 July, DHL Supply Chain South Africa and Mattel have joined hands in celebration of 67 minutes to donate toys for children in need, bringing smiles to hundreds of little faces nationwide.
Throughout Mandela month, DHL Supply Chain South Africa will be distributing toys donated by Mattel to a variety of charities and non-profit organisations which care for disadvantaged and vulnerable children. The donations include a wide variety of educational toys for babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers, as well as popular items such as dolls, toy cars, playsets, plush toys, and building blocks.
As the leading toy makers of Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price and many more, this collaboration forms part of Mattel’s #PlayItForward philanthropy initiative, which aims to reinforce the importance of Mattel’s purpose to empower the next generation to explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full potential.
“The past few years have been incredibly difficult for us as a country, but especially for children from impoverished and disadvantaged communities given widespread disruptions to educational programmes and school feeding schemes,” says Bremer Pauw, Managing Director of DHL Supply Chain Africa.
“Nelson Mandela was famous for his passion for education and care for children, and so in honour of his legacy, we immediately knew that we wanted to reach out and play our own part in supporting vulnerable children, beginning with something as fundamental as toys.”
The DHL Supply Chain team kicked off the festivities at the beginning of July by visiting Oliver’s Village in Benoni, a self-sustaining community project which works to improve the lives of disadvantaged communities in Daveyton through providing access to various educational programmes and a community feeding scheme.
Dropping by its Early Childhood Development Centre, volunteers distributed age-appropriate toys and snacks to 120 vulnerable children between the ages of 24 months and six years who come from child-headed and single-parent households, as well as families where parents are unemployed. Primary school learners who form part of the school’s feeding programme were also invited to join in the festivities, receiving toys to brighten up their day.
Lola Wortley, Director for Planning and Development at Oliver’s House, noted that the children could barely contain their excitement when the volunteers began handing out the gifts.
“We’re very touched by the generosity of DHL Supply Chain and Mattel in bringing us these wonderful presents and toys, and we want to thank their teams for making this day possible. These toys will give our children many weeks and months of happiness and entertainment – thank you, thank you!”
Throughout the coming weeks, toys will be delivered various organisations nationwide. Next in the line are the Fountain of Love Orphanage in Katlehong near Johannesburg, and Simunye Day Care Centre in East London.
“Play is absolutely crucial to childhood development and education, helping children to develop critical problem solving, creative thinking, communication, and fine motor skills, which is why toys are so vital to children’s lives,” says Cindy Veldsman, Country and Senior Sales Manager at Mattel EMEA.
“Play it Forward represents our commitment as a responsible corporate citizen to the communities where we live, work, and play. This is such a heart-warming initiative, and we’ve been sincerely humbled by the joy and pleasure that these toys have already brought to so many little ones.
“We’re grateful to be working with our partner, DHL Supply Chain on this important project, and we’d also like to encourage others to do whatever they can to support the country’s children in the months ahead.”