POPS Foundation grows

2016-10-05 06:00
Shireen Salie (left) is one of the POPS Foundation’s supporters. With her is the foundation’s co-founder and administrator, Mureedah Botha, at a recent high tea fundraising event.        Photo: SUPPLIED

Shireen Salie (left) is one of the POPS Foundation’s supporters. With her is the foundation’s co-founder and administrator, Mureedah Botha, at a recent high tea fundraising event. Photo: SUPPLIED

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WHAT started off as family members participating in charity work, transformed into a huge organisation to assist thousands of underprivileged people in Nelson Mandela Bay.

The People Opposing Poverty in Society (POPS) Foundation is a registered non-profit organisation, which currently provides 60 000 meals each month through various feeding projects in the Bay.

Co-founder and administrator of the POPS Foundation, Mureedah Botha, started the organisation six years ago with her brother Shudley Botha, in order to continue pursuing their passion for serving those in need.

“While my family and I have always been involved in charity in our personal capacity, it was in 2010 that we deci-ded to register as a non-profit organisation and participate in full-time charity work,” Mureedah said.

“Before 2010, we participated in occasional outreach projects such as year-end treats for the underprivileged and orphaned children, as well as assisting with tea parties for senior citizens in old age homes,” she added.

The POPS Foundation, which is driven by dedicated members, their families and volunteers, has increased the number of feeding programmes around the Bay.

“POPS has grown considerably since 2010. Back then, we assisted with under 20 000 meals a month. Now it’s 60 000 meals a month,” Mureedah said.

The foundation has regular fundraising activities to generate both goods and funds for the underprivileged.

A popular fundraising event includes the foundation’s annual winter drive, which brings in much needed donations along with food supplies, clothing and blankets.

The foundation recently held their annual spring high tea where donations were made and non-perishable food items were brought in. These events also help raise awareness about the non-profit organisation.

While focusing on uplifting the underprivileged and orphaned children, as well as senior citizens in old age homes, the organisation’s main aim is to “alleviate poverty and try to make a difference in the lives of the impoverished.”

“Poverty is rapidly increasing and food is very expensive, so we are constantly in need of non-perishable food supplies to keep up with the demand,” Mureedah said.

Apart from running the POPS Foundation, Mureedah is also a bookkeeper. She describes the work she does for the foundation as “most satisfying and rewarding.”

Some of the foundation’s projects include helping soup kitchens in poverty stricken areas, as well as feeding programmes for schools and daycare centers that accommodate children from underprivileged backgrounds. The foundation also provides food parcels to needy households, old age homes and orphanages.

“Basic food supplies such as rice, samp, maize, soya, and vegetables are needed to assist the soup kitchens and schools.

“We don’t have our own soup kitchens yet, so it’s other existing soup kitchens that we supply with bulk food,” Mureedah said.

The foundation is currently preparing for their tenth annual year-end function.

“Our next outreach event takes place in December. It will be the tenth annual year-end treat for about 500 underprivileged and orphaned children across the Bay. The children will be spoilt with fun activities, eats, treats, gifts and much more.

“Some of the main items needed for the year-end event are sponsorships towards paying for the kids entertainment, which includes jumping castles, mini trains, slides, snacks, educational toys and gifts for kids aged five to ten years,” Mureedah added.

The POPS Foundation drop-off point for donations is at 8 Kintyre Street, Kabega Park.

For more information about the POPS Foundation or upcoming events, contact Mureedah Botha on 083 738 8436 or e-mail thepopsfoundation@gmail.com.

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