School bag drive shifts momentum

School bags were distributed in Tambo Village near Manenberg on Saturday 22 January.PHOTO: Supplied

School bags were distributed in Tambo Village near Manenberg on Saturday 22 January.PHOTO: Supplied

A school bag donation drive launched in January has garnered an overwhelming response.

Last month, People’s Post reported on an initiative, driven by Hands of Love, which asked parents to donate their kids’ old school bags at drop-off points in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Called “I’ve got your bag!”, the aim of the drive was to get these school bags to less privileged children in South Africa (“School bag donation drive to lend a hand to communities” People’s Post 18 January).

Founder and former Plumstead resident Catherine Versfeld says they received about 175 bags in Cape Town alone.

“What’s so great about South Africans is that we always rally around a good cause. But to be honest, I have been so overwhelmed. When I started this, I had absolutely no expectations. I thought that even if we collect 10 bags, that will be 10 kids we can help. But then, people just showed such interest and it has really blown us away and warmed my heart,” says Versfeld.

“In the Netherlands, they have a tradition that at the end of their final school year they hang their bags on the window outside the house. A couple has contacted us in order to leverage on this for Hands of Love,” she shares.

The initiative has since distributed school bags in Tambo Village in Manenberg (on Saturday 22 January), to Voorspoed Primary School in Hanover Park (on Friday 11 February) and to Woodlands Primary School in Heideveld (on Saturday 19 February).

What Hands of Love now needs, says Versfeld, are books – old or new – appropriate for learners aged seven to 13. At the moment, Hands of Love is setting up drop-off points. They are looking for people or companies to volunteer their businesses or centres as drop-off points to increase their reach and make it easier for people to donate books.

“We would like for things to be as easy as possible for the public to donate books. The more drop-off points we have the better,” says Versfeld.

  • For more information on this drive, visit