How to Help – Spread some Joy with The UP

Today, 18 July 2013, is Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday! To celebrate his life and all that he stands for people around South Africa will be donating 67 minutes of their lives to give back and help those less fortunate than themselves. There are so many amazing charities where you can get involved – if your interest lies in supporting abused animals, children or women, helping the the homeless and the hungry, encouraging those with cancer or getting involved with environmental causes there are so many options out there that need your help! Get involved today.

And it’s not too late, even if you haven’t planned to sign up at an organised event today you can take a walk around your neighbourhood and pick up some litter, maybe make some cupcakes for a local charity, police station or old age home or spend some time sorting out clothes you no longer use and find a charity that accepts donations. Spend 67 mins making a difference to someone, somewhere!

Lately I’ve been sharing some stories about people who are making a different daily in my series called How to Help. And what better day than today to share my next installment in this series…

They say that laughter is the best medicine and The Up, an organisation that brings joy to humanity, is proving this to be true on a daily basis.

Nikki Jackman, is the founder of The UP which she started in 2003: “After choosing to use my talents for greater purpose, I researched laughter therapy and hospital clowning. I saw the gap there was to bring extra emotional care to sick and traumatised children and so The UP was born”.

Joy

Working with numerous hospitals in the Western Cape and Gauteng, groups of Up Care Clowns are trained and committed to visiting weekly or monthly as a group. “A Care Clown is the best version of you,” Jackman says, “It’s the child-like all loving, non-judgmental, awesomely creative and enthusiastic being that deeply cares and gives freely. Scientifically speaking this type of emotional support work has been proven to aid the children’s recovery,” she says, “Beyond the science, I have seen and experienced the joyful sharing of play and laughter being a gift to ALL”.

“I’ve had many little ones say ‘I love you’ and I hold their hand, in one big hand hug and with all my heart I say it back to them, I wish all humanity could do that”.

Running The Up does come with a few challenges. Jackman mentions that marketing and PR are amongst their biggest challenges, “I envision a time where folk will know our name, think joy, find joy and step UP to be part of joyous solutions for the world”.

“We have so many wonderful ways for people to sUPport us, you can be trained UP yourself or you can inspire your work team to get involved and do our corporate care clowning program, taking a few work hours to share joy! You can also become a monthly or once off donor with all financial contributions helping UP to train more Care Clowns and grow joy in hospitals and homes around South Africa”.

If you want to help UP contact Nikki on: 083 700 7947 or E-mail: upliftmentprogramme@gmail.com
Visit their website: http://theup.org.za/ for more info.

This is The Up’s story of help. To read more stories like these, visit www.youcanhelp.co.za

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Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn is a South African lifestyle blogger and mom of 2 who has been blogging daily for over 9 years! She writes about travel, health, beauty, fashion, decor and family... but not food (unless it's food she's eaten made by someone else) as she is a hopeless cook. She only wakes up early for 2 things... a red-eye flight to somewhere exotic and early morning game drives. She has just finished an extensive home renovation and would prefer to never see another box again. She's never met a chocolate or glass of bubbles that she didn't like!

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