As you probably know 18 July is annual Mandela Day. In case you don’t know, Mandela Day is an internationally celebrated day where people commit to spending 67 minutes helping others/doing charity work and just generally making the world a better place.
The sceptics will say that nothing is achieved in 67 minutes and that every day should be Mandela day. They are right that every day should be spent considering others and doing what you can to help your fellow man or animals and environments in need. Small things every day will make a big difference. However, this event has proven that just 67 minutes of commitment by enough people can make a huge difference to those in need. Especially if those 67 minutes are done in shifts by several groups across a whole day.
Working together 67 minutes can clean a whole neighbourhood, build several wendy houses, fill thousands of food packages, rally enough people to donate a lot of food and clothing and have a lot of puppies and their kennels washed. The key is to make your 67 minutes meaningful and to work hard during this time. Murals will be painted, vegetables gardens planted, children played with, libraries set up. All by you committing just 67 minutes of your time.
Mandela Day helps the needy but it also rallies communities and makes you feel good about yourself and the guy shovelling dirt next to you. It allows us to reconsider what’s important in life and how a little can go a long way. Mandela day gives hope to the desperate and makes them realise that other people do care and that all is not lost. A lot of Mandela Day projects empower people and their communities and so the results can be seen years into the future.
So, find a project that works for you. You can either think of your own or you can visit http://www.mandeladay.com/ where organisations are listing their ideas and want lists and you can just slot in with what they’re doing.
I’m starting early this year and have already committed to donating blankets to Twitter Blanket Drive Africa (@TBDAfrica), Volunteered to Santa Shoebox (www.santashoebox.co.za, @santashoebox) and aim to give out 67 cups of coffee to street vendors and car guards on Mandela Day because I appreciate that they’re standing out in the cold to make an honest living). It’s that simple really.
Get involved no matter where you are in the world.