Gift of the Givers Knysna Fire Relief Fund



11 June 2017

It commenced by diverting a 32 ton truck laden with water for Cape Town, followed by an advanced team to assess the situation, arrange logistics, transport, find a base and arrange distribution. Shoprite-Checkers came to the rescue and provided a magnificent two floor "monster" facility in Rawson Road, Knysna, to warehouse the hundreds of tons of items arriving from all over South Africa to Gift of the Givers for the people of Knysna. Fifteen "foot" soldiers were sent from our various facilities to co-ordinate the entire operation. Emily Thomas was in charge.

Then came nine emergency services personnel, headed by Ahmed Bham, with paramedics and two advanced life support ambulances. Within 48 hours it was clear that the field hospital that the military set up, in response to the shutdown of Knysna Provincial Hospital for precautionary measures, would require support in terms of medical specialists, equipment and supplies. Thirteen of our team members flew in this morning, courtesy of Kulula, who have generously sponsored flights for twenty of our personnel and transported essential cargo at no cost.

The team led by Drs Yakub Essack and Qasim Bhorat, comprise five emergency medicine specialists, two paediatricians, two gynaecologists, two general practitioners, a wound care specialist and an advanced life support paramedic. The team will provide services to the people of Knysna, George, Plettenberg Bay, Buffels Bay and wherever they are placed by the military. Gift of the Givers will bring in additional equipment and supplies at our cost and if necessary, additional medical specialists of various disciplines.

Contributions to the Knysna Relief campaign are still welcome as we expand the aid to medical services. Section 18A tax certificates are available on request.

Contributions can also be done through the Gift of the Givers Greater Good app available in android and istore now. Details toll-free 0800786911.

Gift of the Givers Knysna Update

Written on 09 June 2017

The better part of yesterday was spent in logistical, transport and warehousing arrangements to ensure an effective intervention to support the people of Knysna. The outpouring of public support is a testimony to the unity and humanity of our nation. When it comes to issues of critical importance ordinary South Africans never fail each other as a nation. The spirit of Ubuntu, generosity and social consciousness has also been admirably driven by the media houses in the country. Corporates are showing their mettle and steadily coming forward. Gift of the Givers is proudly South African and ever grateful to all our people for their generous support be it cash, kind, prayer or just words of encouragement.

It has taken a full 24 hours but our systems are in place now. Ten of our emergency services specialists, ambulances, supply trucks and support personnel are now in Knysna. Shoprite-Checkers has given us a massive two storey parking facility with security to "warehouse" supplies coming from companies or the public, and has contributed large volumes of items in kind to us. Gift of the Givers has brought 32 tons of bottled water, blankets, diapers, food items and tents. Makro and Game have dispatched six trucks carrying tinned food, bottled water, dry rations and blankets to us. Woolworths has contributed R500 000 in cash and has tons of items in kind for us to collect. Outsurance has donated R250 000 in cash and has challenged other insurance companies to do something similar. Mutual and Federal have responded with R400 000. Discovery has given us R375 000 and expect another R200 000 from Vitality members. The Australian High Commission has offered R250 000 and the world renowned international charity, Oxfam, has given us R60 000. Kulula has offered free tickets for our personnel and free delivery of our cargo from Cape Town or Johannesburg. ABSA and many other companies have indicated that contributions will be forthcoming soon. The support from the ordinary public in cash and kind has been simply awe inspiring. For details call us toll-free on 0800786911, visit or Facebook and Twitter @GiftoftheGivers.

The one specific challenge facing us is to find missing persons. Thus far families have contacted us indicating that their members are missing. If anyone is aware of the whereabouts of Laurence McGorian (80), Carol Hendey (90) and Renier Kok (28) and his wife Alicia Horn (21) please inform us so that we could put these families at ease. We will dedicate our team to trace the whereabouts of these people as one of our essential responsibilities. Please send any similar request by sms to the cell number below.

Gift of the Givers Knysna Fire Relief and Cape Town Storms

We have been on standby since Tuesday morning, 6 June, at the request of Cape Town Disaster Management, to assist drought stricken Cape Town and the expected storm that evening. Our warehouses were ready, additional supplies were being sent from Johannesburg. The first such delivery of bottled water destined for Cape Town is now re-routed to Knysna.

Up to 10 000 residents were forced to flee their homes in Knysna overnight as fires fuelled by storm winds ripped through the Western Cape coastal town.

Checkers, Woolworths and Massmart have already come forward to assist us both in Cape Town and Knysna. We awaiting feedback from disaster centre in both these regions as to the exact requirements for those affected. Contributions in cash and kind for both areas will be accepted. Section 18A tax certificates will be issued on request. For more details call toll-free 0800786911.

Gift of the Givers has responded with the following assistance as of 08/06/2017 @ 13h00:

  • 2 ambulances with paramedics.
  • 10 emergency services personnel.
  • 2 x 8 ton trucks with food and blankets
  • 32 ton truck with bottled water.

The needs are: bottled water, blankets, mattresses, tinned food, dry snacks, biscuits, towels, hygiene items, diapers and sanitary pads. This list will be updated as the situation unfolds.



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