Nelson Mandela Day (18 July) - 5 things you can do to play your part


Jade Poole from I Write Words

Nelson Mandela Day

Nelson Mandela day is a day where we honour the late and great Nelson Mandela by doing something selfless that betters our community. What is your plan for this year’s Mandela Day? If you’re still not sure, we’ve got 5 amazing things you can do to celebrate!

One thing you have to be wary of this Mandela Day is your health. You need to be sure that you are still social distancing and following the correct protocols to stay healthy with whatever option you choose.

Mandela Day gives you a beautiful opportunity to do something different and give back. We suggest taking this Mandela Day to not limit your contribution to 67 minutes but rather to make charitable work a regular occurrence (if it isn’t already). That way, there will be a long-term positive effect on those who are being helped.

What is Mandela Day?

If you’re not sure what Mandela Day is, well, that’s okay. But to save you from any future embarrassment, we have broken it down for you in this blog…

Here’s a tiny explanation just to make sure we’re all on the same page.

Nelson Mandela International Day is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela. It’s celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela's birthday. To celebrate it’s often encouraged that you donate 67 minutes of your time to a special cause. Which, if you ask us, is a beautiful initiative to bring us all together in celebration and in unity.

Why 67 minutes? The reason is one minute represents every year Mandela served his country. No matter how small your action, Mandela Day is about changing the world for the better, just as Nelson Mandela did every day.

So what can you do?

5 things you can do to celebrate

You might feel limited in what you can do this year because of the current global pandemic. There’s still so much you can do though. We’re taking a look at just 5 things you can do but the list is endless.

1. Donate masks to the less fortunate

The coronavirus pandemic is still a very real reality and the less fortunate are more at risk than many people. Take this opportunity to either:

1. Make masks that you can distribute to homeless or less fortunate people

2. Collect masks at work and choose somewhere to donate them

3. Get your friends and family to make a contribution that you will use towards purchasing masks that you can donate.

If you are making the donations yourself, be sure to wear a mask of your own and to keep as much distance between you as possible. It would also be wise to keep hand sanitiser nearby too!

Take a look at how to help children get comfortable with masks.

2. Collect and deliver blankets

We’re definitely feeling the cold this winter, we can’t imagine what those in need must be going through. Encourage your friends and family to give you old (good condition) blankets or ask them to contribute some money so that you can buy some blankets. Drive around and hand as many blankets out as you possibly can to people on the side of the road. 

Here are some drives you can donate blankets to:

Covid-19 Clothes and Blanket Donation Drive with United Way

Blanket Drive

Hope for Warmth with Helping SA

3. Give a little extra TLC to our furry friends

Don’t forget those in need that cannot do or speak for themselves. Our furry friends love us unconditionally, the least we can do is help them as much as we can. You can help animals in need by:

1. Donate and contribute to sterilization efforts. You can read more about how sterilization programmes work here.

2. Donate food, blankets, toys or money to animal shelters. Take a look at how you can lend a helping hand to CLAW

3. Support the Project Rhino K9 Unit by adopting one of their heroes. Explore how you can do this and what it means.

play your part

4. Celebrate our health workers

Our health works have been working non-stop (especially now) so why not bake some cookies, collect some money or knit some scarves (literally anything) to spread some joy. This little act of kindness will go such a long way with the individuals who have been risking their lives for ours.

5. Do a massive cleanout

This is possibly one of the easiest things you can do. The average person has an abundance of cr.. uh, stuff filling their cupboards at home. Take a little bit of time to go through your clothes, desk drawers, bookshelves, even your kitchen cupboards (you’ll be surprised at the amount of stuff you don’t use). Collect all of these items and donate them to your closest charity or church.

Take a look at some places you help out and donate to:

Meals on Wheels

The clothing bank

Tygerberg Hospital Children’s Trust

For more inspiration on what to do, head to the Mandela Day website.

There is so much you can do that will make a massive difference in someone’s life. Mandela Day is about choosing to do something for someone else regardless of what is happening in your life. This day should teach all of us that it takes nothing away from you to give to someone else.

Remember to practice your social distancing protocols if you’re out and about making donations.

Stay safe and stay healthy.

Yours in affordable health insurance,


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