Some of you may have noticed, I was in South Africa for the last 10 days with The Heart That Gives Foundation. My mom began this charity after going on a mission trip to South Africa and absolutely falling in love with the country and the Zulu people. In addition to falling in love, she also just saw the extreme need that was there. Since then, she has developed a relationship with a handful of residents there to help those who need it most. Her foundation relies solely on United States donations and sponsors. If you’re interested in donating to help those in need, visit her website to learn more.
As I mentioned, I visited the country and helped my mother and her charity for 10 days. While there, we were able to provide 14 families with monthly food rations (they receive these each month thanks to family sponsorship donations). We were able to provide toys and mattresses to three different day care facilities in the area. We were also able to supply 20 students at a local school with proper uniforms. The Heart That Gives Foundation also is in the works of providing a woman with a new roof/home, getting a vehicle to make monthly food distributions easier, finding more families in need and continuing to help the Zulu people.
In my day to day life, I rarely consider things like a mattress to sleep on or a bowl of rice something of significance. While in South Africa, I realized the value of things we take for granted everyday and how impactful something so little can be. Through The Heart That Gives Foundation, I saw tears of joy as we provided meals that individuals otherwise would not have had… I saw little kids faces light up as they watched us unloading toys for them to play with.
I also saw the impact a photograph can have. All images taken in this blog were using my camera but I also used a polaroid camera throughout the trip. Rather than keeping the images taken with the polaroid, I would give the families/individuals their portraits. One experience in particular was my favorite. When receiving his monthly food distribution, the man receiving’s face was difficult to read. I think it was a combination of shock and disbelief that caused him to look the way he did. However, when he saw that he was going to get to keep a photograph, his entire demeanor changed. His face lit up with joy as he laughed at himself and his family about getting their photo taken.
Overall, my trip to South Africa was one that I will never forget. My biggest take away from the entire trip is how far something little can go. Kindness matters. So whether it’s just a smile as you drive by your neighbor going to work or a monthly donation that will provide a family with food, be kind.
Here is a collection of images from my trip. If you’re interested in finding out more, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me! I would love to tell you more about the trip as well as how you can get involved or even go on a trip yourself!
We provided this grandfather with bifocals. Although we couldn’t understand what he was saying, it was pretty clear how grateful he was!
The next set of photographs is from the daycares. These little ones seriously melted me. They were so curious and a little unsure of us at first. But as we brought toys and were there for a little bit, their big smiles started to show.
Again, please reach out to me if you’re interested in joining The Heart That Gives on their next trip or if you just want to learn more!