Michele Bowes, Claremont
In February a year ago, a friend and I launched the “ Chomipack” initiative.
With the help of donations from Old Mutual, and St Andrew’s Church, we are able to gift every new child patient at Maitland Cottage Children’s Orthopaedic Hospital, situated in Newlands, with a chomipack full of toys (most patients do not have any toys to bring with them).
Thanks to our volunteers, this is done within four hours of admission because that is the most emotional time for the child.
We needed to buy nine different sets of chomipacks – both age (1 month to 12 years) – and gender specific with a limited budget and suitable for bedridden children. Enter Nazeem Salie into the picture, manager of Osmans (every Capetonian knows where Osmans is, yes ?)
Nazeem dropped what he was doing, and escorted us for the next hour and a half selecting the best toys … avoiding the expensive ones, alerting us to small parts too risky for the babies, replacing the ones we chose which were too messy.
This was the beginning of the first day of our initiative. Thank you Nazeem for your compassionate support for the child patients at Maitland Hospital (and for your friendly and helpful shop assistants).
Ps. We are still going strong. Join in if you like the idea of being Father/ Mother Christmas by handing out these ready-made gift packs throughout the year. Call 082 931 0831 for more details.