Holidays For Underprivileged Children
Port Shepstone Lions regularly hosted a group of underprivileged children at The Pont Holiday Resort in Port Edward. The children, usually aged between 6 and 17, are accompanied by members of the Reitz Lions Club in the northern Freestate. Most of these children come from impoverished families who reside in the towns of Reitz, Warden, Petrus Steyn and Frankfort in the Northern Freestate.
Reitz Lions members liaise with their local child welfare, identifying children who qualify for this project, meet with their respective families/care givers and obtain the required permissions. They also source transport, and obtain sponsorships for toiletries, meals for the road trip etc.
Port Shepstone Lions organise sponsored accommodation for the children and their Lions chaperones, usually at the Pont Holiday Resort n Port Edward. Sponsorships and donations in the form of cash donations, foods and drinks, tents, fuel for the bus, mattresses, toys, clothing, sweets, stationary and entertainment/outings throughout the course of the week were also organised by members of the Club.
All meals are also provided by Port Shepstone, Ramsgate and Shelly Beach Lions Clubs. Sponsorships are provided for many of these meals by local companies and organisations.
Most of the children have never seen the sea and most have never experienced a proper holiday. Port Shepstone Lion Ladies provide each child with a sponsored goodie bag which contains sweets, chocolates, stationary and other novelty items. They are also provided with many items of clothing which are kindly donated towards the project.
The various activities provided during the week vacation include trips to the beach on the Spellbound Gambler river raft, a trip to the Wild Coast Sun Water World, a trip to the Shelly Beach Ski Boat Club where they enjoy sponsored boat rides on the ocean. a visit to the Riverbend Crocodile Farm, a visit to Pure Venom Reptile Park in Shelly Beach and a visit to Lake Eland Game Reserve.
This project was truly a heart-warming experience for all Lions involved. Many members became quite emotional when they experienced the love, joy and appreciation expressed by these wonderful children. Port Shepstone Lions would like to express their deep and sincere gratitude to all sponsors and our local community who gave so generously to make this project possible.