Posted 21 Sep 2021

Cars.co.za, Ford SA wrap up Winter Blanket Drive assisting Gift of the Givers

Having helped the Gift of the Givers Foundation deliver 5 tonnes of goods, including blankets, food, care packages and soup-kitchen supplies to the impoverished Western Cape town of Touws River (in in partnership with Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa) in July, leading online motoring portal Cars.co.za initiated a Winter Blanket Drive, which ended on August 6.   

Apart from calling on South Africans to make donations to help bring comfort to communities that have been suffering through the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic – not to mention the chilly grip of winter, Cars.co.za kickstarted the fund by pledging to donate all of the 2020 advertising revenue raised by its YouTube channel.

The proceeds of the Cars.co.za Winter Blanket Drive, which was generously supported by the public, enabled the Gift of the Givers Foundation to deliver hundreds of blankets and other relief supplies to communities around the Western Cape, including a delivery made by a convoy of fully-laden Ford Rangers to the town of Riviersonderend in the Overberg area.

“It was a tremendous honour and pleasure for us to join forces with the Gift of the Givers and Ford – two brands that make a positive impact on the lives of many South Africans,” says Cars.co.za‘s Consumer Experience Manager Hannes Oosthuizen. “This is a foundation that deserves the nation’s support, because its efforts benefit all regions of the country.”

Two videos that document the relief effort can be viewed on Cars.co.za’s YouTube channel.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit South Africa, the ensuing lockdowns impacted many rural towns that depend on revenue derived from tourism (such as Riviersonderend and Touws River). Jobs were lost and several businesses closed, leaving countless people unemployed.

“Riviersonderend, as a town along the Garden Route, was hit particularly hard,” says Ali Sablay of Gift of the Givers. “Community leaders phoned us to say they were concerned about the elderly and children who were going to bed hungry at night. They asked us for urgent assistance and that’s why we wanted to deliver some food aid and relief here.

“The calls keep rolling in for food assistance. In the Western Cape, we visit three communities a day and deliver aid (including food and blankets) to about 60 communities per month.

Drought relief in the Eastern and Northern Cape

“Our other initiative is to help communities endure the devastating drought in the Eastern and the Northern Cape. Every day, our water tanker trucks deliver water to these communities, some of which have not had clean drinking water for the last seven to eight years.

“Water is essential for sanitation and our first target was to ensure that hospitals and schools remain open… To bolster their water supplies, we’ve drilled boreholes where possible.

“We at Gift of the Givers are involved in all the parts of South Africa. We also pride ourselves on supporting healthcare workers – we’ve delivered PPE (personal protective equipment) and CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines to many of the country’s hospitals.

“We’ve also carried out renovations at some of the hospitals in the Eastern Cape so that our healthcare workers can see their fellow South Africans are standing with them,” he concludes.

“Initiatives like this epitomise the ‘Ford For South Africa’ campaign,” says Neale Hill, managing director of FMCSA. “It goes beyond just highlighting Ford’s corporate and product legacy and demonstrates our commitment to this wonderful and vibrant country, and our unwavering dedication to building a promising future for all South Africans.”

“It’s been an absolute highlight of our year working with Gift of the Givers,” says Cars.co.za Head of Video, Ciro De Siena. “Thank you to everyone who helped to make this possible. The Gift of the Givers is an extraordinary foundation and they deserve all of our support.

“So even though our blanket drive has ended for this year, we’d like to encourage you to help this organisation by making a donation – big or small – whenever you can,” he concluded.

Please support the Gift of the Givers Foundation’s ongoing relief efforts by donating into the following bank account – you can indeed make a difference.

Account Name: Gift of the Givers Foundation
Bank: Standard Bank
Account Number: 052137228
Branch Code: 057 525
Branch: Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
The Gift of the Givers Foundation is the largest disaster response, non-governmental organisation of African origin on the African continent. Assistance is provided unconditionally; to the needy, irrespective of human or animal, race, religion, colour, class, political affiliation or geographic location.
This month (August 2021), the organisation celebrates its 29th birthday. Since 1992, Gift of the Givers has delivered life-saving goods and on-the-ground support for innumerable people, collectively valued at some R3.5 billion, in more than 44 countries across the globe.

Original article as supplied by Ford Dealerview.