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News | What can you do on Mandela Day?

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Today is Mandela Day, a day celebrated around the world to honour the enormous legacy of former president Nelson Mandela, not only for freedom and peace in South Africa, but also for the world.

Madiba devoted 67 years of his life fighting for social justice, and every year on 18 July, Madiba’s birthday, we’re encouraged to devote just 67 minutes of our time to do good and volunteer in serving our communities.

Here are five inexpensive things you can do to your community on Mandela Day:

Give away books
We’ve seen the difference the simple act of reading can make in people’s lives [insert link to Pavement Bookworm story somewhere in the sentence], so why not help make a difference by donating some of your old books to your local library or hospice.

Clean your street or beach
No one likes a dirty neighbourhood, and even less a dirty beach, so why not get a group of friends together and pick up the litter in your neighbourhood, or if you live on the coast, sweep your local beach to clean up the trash that gets washed up on the beach. It will make living or going there so much more pleasant and instill a sense of pride in the community.

Paint the town red
Speaking of community pride, if you’re an artist, offer to create some inspiring street art on a wall in your neighbourhood. Even if your best paintings are paint-by-numbers, you can still add some colour by painting a wall. Get a couple of your friends to pitch in for a can or two of paint and some brushes, and start painting. Remember to ask the property owner’s permission first.

Chat to the elderly
There are many old people in our communities who are lonely and hardly get any visitors. Why not stop by your local old age home, have a cup of tea, and a chat to some of the residents. Aside from keeping them company, you can also learn a great deal from their life experience.

Walk the dog
It’s not just people who need love. Pets are such great companions, yet many have no-one to love them. Visit your local SPCA and take a dog, or two or three, for a walk in the park. They will appreciate it more than you know. Remember to take a couple of tins of pet food to donate to the SPCA – they do great work and will appreciate your support.

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