Car­ing girls raise cash for pa­tients

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - News - Naz­iziphiwo Buso Bu­son@ti­soblack­

A visit to drop off a cake with her mom at Cancer­care turned an 11-year-old girl into a hu­man­i­tar­ian and a busi­ness­woman mak­ing just un­der R6,000 in five days.

“Care Bears” on the front desk of the on­col­ogy unit in Lan­gen­hoven Drive cap­tured the heart of Kate Rodgers, who asked what they were and why they were be­ing sold.

The Care Bear project be­gan in March 2017 to sup­port the CancerAs­sist Trust Fund for pa­tients in fi­nan­cial need.

Kate then asked her mom, Kathy Rodgers, for per­mis­sion to ap­proach her school, Col­le­giate Ju­nior School for Girls, to sell the bears on be­half of CancerAs­sist.

The de­ter­mined young­ster and her best friend, Jen­nifer Friskin, 11, who is also a pupil at the school, set up an ap­point­ment with head­mistress Gill Robin­son to ask for per­mis­sion to sell the bears dur­ing the school’s sec­ond break.

To date the pair have sold just un­der 600 Care Bears, mak­ing R6,000 over five days at the school.

Robin­son said the pair be­ing so in­formed about cancer and the de­sire to help oth­ers had done all the con­vinc­ing.

They came to her of­fice to see her be­cause they had a plan.

“They came well pre­pared. They had a flyer about the cancer Care Bear project, they had a sam­ple of the Care Bear and they had a plan of want­ing to sell Care Bears.

“Out of their ini­tia­tive they or­gan­ised ex­tra stock. They said they would be in­volved in the man­age­ment process and sold an ex­cess of about 580 Care Bears with­out any as­sis­tance, just straight from the heart.

“You know what, they had just done their home­work [and had] en­thu­si­asm and pas­sion when they came to [ask if ], they [could ] do it. There was no other an­swer but ‘yes’.

“As a school we are ex­cep­tion­ally proud of the ini­tia­tive be­cause they wanted to make a dif­fer­ence,” she added.

The giddy school­girls could not hide their ex­cite­ment as they ex­plained what each bear’s colour meant.

The brown bears all have dif­fer­ent coloured hearts on them to rep­re­sent dif­fer­ent forms of cancer.

Kate said she ap­proached the school with only 20 Care Bears be­tween her and Friskin and ended the week hav­ing sold just un­der 600.

“We started sell­ing on Mon­day and sold all 20 bears. On Tues­day we stood at Wendy’s [a school foyer], where we sold 200 bears in to­tal.

“We then had to get more bears, and then we sold [an­other] large batch and by the end of the week we had sold 575 Care Bears,” Kate said.

Asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, Kate said she still felt un­de­cided but she would work in an en­vi­ron­ment where she helped peo­ple.

She said the project made her feel proud.

“I am happy that I am help­ing other peo­ple who can’t af­ford their medicines.”

Friskin said it felt good to be help­ing peo­ple with sick­nesses be­cause it meant that they would be bet­ter.

The pair plan to sell Care Bears again next year and ex- pand their busi­ness to fam­i­lies of the school.

Mar­ian Lourens from Cancer­Care said she was ex­tremely grate­ful for the do­na­tion.

“The money will go to the fi­nan­cially needy cancer pa­tients in the metro. We are happy and proud she [did] this for us.”

Pho­to­graph: WERNER HILLS

HEART­FELT: Col­le­giate pri­mary school pupils Jen­nifer Friskin and Kate Rodgers with some of the Care Bears

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