Wednesday, 28 January 2015



So there is a new Crew in Town...
The #PandaCrew

If any of you guys have not heard of the #PandaCrew, I am not quite sure where you have been hiding for the last few months. This initiative was started by probably the most humble guy I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Sebastian Schütte has a phenomenal story to tell! But that is most definitely a story for another day.

The #PandaCrew is a global movement which is driven by branded apparel, creating a global community of individuals who are taking action and inspire anyone and everyone who is willing and able to assist in any way that they can. The #PandaCrew aims to help the young and old, and everyone in between too, without any prejudice or judgement based on colour, creed, background and any other demographic which has been created in this diverse society of ours.

The Motto: No one gets left behind. No one gets singled out. And no one goes without help.

If that doesn't say enough, maybe you should read it again!

No one gets left behind.
No one gets singled out.
And no one goes without help.

So on 18 December a few members of the #PandaCrew headed out to the #MatwalasChildrenHome to surprise the kids with a Christmas Party. I honestly did not know what to expect on this day. When I left home, I had thought that I had prepared myself enough for what was to come.
Each of the members of the #PandaCrew had something to bring to the party and everyone contributed in some way to give back at the end of what was a successful year.

We arrived at the home and started unloading the cars.

Soccer balls and Hula-hoops were soon everywhere to be seen and the children were all going crazy and having a blast playing with these simple toys that many nowadays take for granted.

Once the face painting had started, everyone wanted to be either Batman, a cheetah or have a butterfly covering their face and soon the #PandaCrew found out they had hidden talents in the form of face painting!

We had bought about 30 gifts, one for each child to open on Christmas Day. I thought this was very important as I could not imagine having to wake up on Christmas Morning and not having a present to open. So I insisted on getting each child their very own gift that they would be able to open.

We had been able to have the Dros supply us with some pizza for lunch and we got some cold-drinks to quench some thirst on this hot summers day out in the sun. 

The #PandaCrew had worked hard to prepare Goodie Bags for all the children filled with sweets and toys...

And then what would a party without cake be?
Cupcakes for everyone!!

So to say thank you to the #PandaCrew, the children decided it would be a good idea to get us all dancing and singing with them... (I generally don't sing... not even in the shower!)

A few facts on the #MatwalasChildrenHome:
1 House
3 Bedrooms
1 Converted Garage
1 Bathroom
27 Children (ages ranging from 1 to 16)
3 Adults
These children have been abandoned; are victims to abuse or are orphans.

Address: 78 Frikkie Meyer Boulevard, 1911 Vanderbijlpark, South Africa

For now... I will let these photographs captured on the day tell the story.

Then it was time to go home...

It is weird how quickly these lil guys creep into your heart and make you want to tear up just when they look at you. The one thing I certainly took from this day was to be happy with the simple and smaller things in life. We all so often forget what we have going for us and we tend to expect things to just always go our way and get everything we want. This day reminded me that we have so much to be thankful for and we need to appreciate every little thing a whole lot more than what we are currently doing. To see the smiles on the faces of these children brings a different warmth into your heart when you know that you are, or you have been able to give them a reason to smile for that moment! 

#PandaCrew: Sebastiaan Schütte, Nicolaas van der Walt, JP Smit, Adrian Allday, Lloyd Loots, Andrew Reid, Rusha Du Toit

All these amazing photographs on the day were taken by #PandaCrew members: Barry Swart and JP Smit

You too can get involved and be part of the #Pandamonium
The #PandaCrew hats are available to everyone! You can contact them for more info. All proceeds go straight back into the community and the projects that are coming up soon!

Check them out on Twitter: @_PandaCrew_
And remember to give them a follow and join in on the conversation by using the #PandaCrew
Or have a look here:

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