One of my goals this year was to get more involved with volunteering. So when MySchool, one of South Africa’s largest fundraising programmes, asked me to participate in their new volunteer bus experience in partnership with Better SA, I was super excited to get involved!
The MySchool Better SA Volunteer Bus
MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet has partnered with Better SA to sponsor a specific Better SA mini-bus that gives MySchool supporters the opportunity to volunteer at a range of NPOs, which are beneficiaries of their fund-raising programme. The hop-on hop-off volunteer bus, links up volunteers to projects in need, and facilitates the entire volunteer experience, making volunteering super easy!
My Volunteer experience at Lerato Education Centre
I arrived at James & Ehtel Grey Park, the Illovo pick-up point to find the MySchool BetterSA volunteer bus waiting. The volunteer coordinator welcomed us (there were about 8 of us in the group) and set out the plan for the morning. We learnt that we were heading to the Lerato Educational Centre in Jackson’s Drift informal settlement, Joburg South where we would be painting the library and starting a veggie patch!
A quick 20 minute drive later and we arrived at Lerato Educational Centre. All the supplies were ready and waiting and we got to our first task – painting the library. The design had already been drawn for us and all we had to do was get a little creative with the paint! There was also an artist on hand to help finish off the mural and correct our dodgy painting!
The Centre caters for over 500 children children from 2 years old up to Grade 3, not only for their educational needs but also feeding the kids two meals a day.
I spent the next couple of hours painting a colourful mural and planting seedlings in their brand new veggie patch. The veggie patch we started would be soon be supplying the bulk of the veggies for the kids meals. We planted spinach, onions, kale, lettuce and beetroot – all the healthy stuff!
Besides being able to give back a little, we got to meet some of the kids and Sister Ellen, one of the founders of the centre who told us about what they do and the funding needed to run an educational facility of this size. Check out my video documenting my volunteer experience…
How to get involved:
Volunteering with the MySchool BetterSA volunteer bus is super easy!
- If you don’t have a MySchool card, sign up for one here.
- Log on to www.bettersa.org, review the upcoming calendar of events and then complete the booking form for the volunteer excursion that appeals to you.
- Arrive at the bus hub and hop on the volunteer bus!
The Hop on Hop off volunteer bus service runs every Saturday morning, between 8am and 12pm from the following hubs:
- From Illovo heading into Alexandra and surrounds
- From Broadacres heading into Diepsloot
- From Roodepoort heading into Soweto
- From Midrand heading into Olievenhoutbosch
When volunteers arrive at a BetterSA hub they are met by team leaders who brief them on the community and organisation they are visiting and the volunteer activity they have booked for. Volunteers receive instructions on how to complete the activity and all supplies needed. They then spend 90 minutes at the organisation before boarding the bus and returning to the hub.
The service is free of charge and co-ordinated from start to finish so that volunteers can make the most impact in the time they have available.
Don’t forget to swipe your MySchool card!
Go to http://www.myschool.co.za/ to apply for your free MySchool card, and choose your beneficiary. Every time you swipe your card at Woolworths, Engen, Loot.co.za or any other partner store, the participating retailers will donate a percentage of your purchase value, on your behalf, to the school or charity you have chosen to support, at no cost to you!
I had a fun morning volunteering with on the volunteer bus. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. For those wanting to give back but not knowing where to start, the Better SA volunteer bus takes all the hassle out of volunteering. All you have to do is book your spot on one of the busses and arrive at the bus hub. Maybe I’ll see you there?
For more information visit the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet Facebook page, follow them on Twitter on @MySchoolSA! This post was sponsored by MySchool but all opinions are my own.