Going forward in 2017 we have decided to drop bags off at shelters once a month as we are all girls with jobs and families and spare time is just not a luxury most of us have.
Our last drop was on the 18th of January. We first went to Bethany house in Bertams where we handed out 30 filled handbags. The ladies, as always, treated us suspiciously as they are never sure what we want from them. We explain that we are a group of ordinary girls who think and pray for them and have asked our friends for handbags and toiletries and this is a gift of love from us to them.
Every girl/woman I know loves a new handbag! So.. it does not take long for the ladies to warm to us. At Bethany we decided to start with the oldest lady first.
Our surprise was that she was in her mid 30’s. Each lady came up one by one and picked a bag with the help of her friends telling her what would suit her. This became a jolly time with friends cheering friends on. It is such a treat to see the ladies faces as they slowly unpack their treats. The Bible is always hugged and seems to be the favourite gift at each shelter.
We love going to Bethany as it is such a well-run shelter and each time we leave it is with hugs and thanks from the ladies and staff, usually telling us to please come again. This shelter cares for women of physical abuse, sexual abuse, rape, and other vulnerable women and their children. Often marks of abuse can be seen on the faces of the ladies.
Our second stop was at Uitkoms in Observatory, which was a home for un wed mothers in the ‘old’ days, now it is a shelter for teenage girls who have suffered abuse or are at risk. We received a beautiful donation from the management staff Health Insite who instead of client gifts for Christmas they used the money to buy and fill a bag for teenage girls. These bags were also well received by the young girls who were thrilled with the funky design on each bag as well as the Bible and the goodies in the bag.