A heart of gold

Wilma Chiristoffels, left, receives donated clothes from Carien Minnie.

For 17 years, Carien Minnie, of Oakdale, has been donating clothes and toys to the needy.

She uses social media and word of mouth to reach people in need and then gathers donations from the public to deliver.

Ms Minnie helps people in her private capacity and out of her own pocket.

“I am passionate about helping children,” she says. “I used to work in a local creche, and I am now an au pair. I began reaching out to people when I saw the need for help, and I have been doing it for so long now that I cannot count the amount of people that I have helped all over the Western Cape.”

Her mother, Carolina Koegelenberg, makes clothes for local creche’s and childre’n organisations.

“I am extending my mother’s legacy by continuing to help children by reaching out to the community and getting donations for them. I not only help children in need but I also help pregnant mothers who need supplies, and my husband and I have also collected sweets and toys that we donate to people we get in contact with. During lockdown, I also started working at the soup kitchen in Oakdale and we have fed close to 120 households.”

Last month, Ms Minnie reached out to Wilma Christoffels, who runs a Montague feeding scheme for about 60 children daily.

Ms Christoffels said: “Carien must have seen a post of mine on Facebook when she sent me a message, and soon afterwards she and her husband came to us and delivered clothes and shoes for all of the children. I am so grateful for her help and I hope that we can continue to work together to help the children.”

Ms Christoffels said she helped neglected children whose parents had fallen victim to alcoholism and drug abuse.

“The children get porridge in the morning and in the afternoon, we also give them lunch and all of the food comes from donations from the community.”

Ms Minne’s contributions and assistance have not gone unnoticed in her community as many of her neighbours have shown appreciation for her efforts.

Tossie Ras, an Oakdale resident, said: “Carien’s heart is made of gold, and she is always there for the community, whether it’s being part of the Oakdale Neighbourhood Watch or gathering clothes and food to serve those in need. Thank you, Carien.”

If anybody wants to help Ms Minnie or Ms Christoffels, they can email krieki.minnie09@gmail.com.