5000 people and counting – #DriveHope changing lives during the pandemic

The Liberty #DriveHope campaign has already paid out just over R1 million, assisting more than 5000 people and their families across South Africa since it was launched early 2020. 

“This is all thanks to the South Africans, who, even in the face of a pandemic, opened their hearts and assisted us in finding the people who needed help the most,” says Karen Denny, Liberty Divisional Executive for Digital Marketing.

The campaign was established in January 2020, starting at Liberty’s offices in Johannesburg, and was initially a platform for Liberty employees to nominate their colleagues – and their communities – who were struggling and needed a small boost to keep going. Sometimes, the help would be a simple care package for colleagues who were struggling to make ends meet, other times it would be a drive to gather baby essentials for new moms in nearby communities.

It was inspired by the then recently inaugurated President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 2018 call for more social good, adopting the Hugh Masekela-inspired phrase “Thuma Mina” as the rallying cry.

While the initial internal campaign was already doing good for community’s near and dear to the Liberty team’s heart, as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the scope of #DriveHope had to be expanded. As #DriveHope gained traction on social and traditional media, calling for people to nominate their friends, communities and colleagues who needed help, suggestions began pouring in.

 Food parcels, school shoes, baby essentials and funding packages were making their way to well-deserving South Africans who needed help in the midst of the global health crisis.

“To date, the lock-down period has been the most successful part of our drive. We managed to contribute about R 599 505.95 during a time where South Africans were facing such a turbulent financial situation,” says Denny.

By the end of February 2021, 806 requests to help people and organisations had already been resolved. So far, Liberty has assisted 5328 people, both directly and indirectly. The majority of the nominations received came from outside of Liberty. 

“Every nomination was so unique, and it’s nearly impossible to single out just one. The people nominated, their stories spoke about their personal struggles who desperately needed assistance. It’s tough reading about parents asking for assistance with food for their children. Given the majority of women who wrote in, it is the fathers’ stories that caught me (even more) by surprise,” says Denny.

More than R1 million has already been paid out – with 12% of that (R118 660) being given to schools and other educational institutions as part of Liberty’s Back To School initiatives.

“#DriveHope aims to make a difference in people’s lives. Most of all, it gives them hope and comfort that someone is looking out for them – and that assistance is there, if you ask for it,” says Denny.

The campaign is set to continue throughout 2021, so for anyone wishing to nominate a person in need, contact the Liberty #DriveHope Squad on Facebook, Twitter, or email [email protected].