As South Africa’s eyes were glued to news reports about the worst storm Cape Town has experienced in decades and the carnage it left, Knysna and the region surrounding it caught fire. The ensuing blazes forced approximately 10 000 people to leave their homes, many fleeing with only the clothes on their backs.

The damage the fires have caused is devastating in the truest sense of the word, and the fires have not been completely put out yet. The destruction has sparked relief efforts from across the country, with many big South African corporates stepping up to coordinate the delivery of aid to the disaster-stricken region.

The compassion of the average citizen has been a golden thread throughout this story. There were the initial offers of shelter from the hospitality sector in surrounding areas, to people opening their homes. As fires raged that first night, a brewery even opened its doors to people who had been affected. Donations are still pouring in from across the country to help those in need. If you’re still wondering how you can assist, these are some of the organisations to contact.

Retailers

Pick n Pay

The supermarket chain has made it easy to donated without even leaving your home. You can order groceries online and have them delivered directly to the affected areas, or donate your Smart Shopper points to support the cause.

Shoprite

Collection points have been set up at Shoprite and Checkers stores countrywide.

Makro

Collection points have been set up at various Makro stores across the country.

Couriers

DHL

The international courier service offers free delivery of donations from pick-up points across the country.

Aramex

Aramex has also joined efforts to get donations delivered to Knysna. There are 16 offices around the country where you can drop off donations.

Organisations

Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival Southern Africa Foundation

This organisation is currently en route from Johannesburg to Knysna, collecting donations on the way.

Gift of the Givers

Gift of the Givers is always on the ground and providing aid in times of crisis. Currently they are coordinating efforts for both the Knysna fires and the storms in Cape Town.

Spur’s Full Tummy Fund

The Spur Foundation is supplying burgers to people who have been affected.

The National Council of SPCAs

Support the SPCA in their efforts to make sure that the animals affected by the fires are taken care of.

You can also SMS the word CARE to 38018 to donate R25 to the NSPCA.

Crowdfunding campaigns

If you prefer to donate cash towards relief efforts, have a look at this GoFundMe campaign set up by a resident of Knysna.

What to donate:

• Blankets, pillows and mattresses

• Clothing (especially warm clothing and jackets)

• Towels

• Toiletries

• Sanitary towels

• Water

• Nappies, baby bottles, baby food and formula

• Non-perishable food

• Long-life milk

• Pet food

• Plasters

• Dettol

• Eye drops

• Bandages

• Lip ice

Keep an eye on the Knysna fire Facebook page to address needs as they arise.

About The Author

Angie Gallagher

Angie Gallagher is a freelance writer in the Upper Karoo. Aside from writing content for Counting Coins, Angie has tried her hand at a few juvenile attempts at poetry filled with storms and stress, and a marginally successful radio station, Radio Grootoor, recorded on cassette tapes when she was ten.

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