Serving the community for years

2019-09-24 06:00
Margaret Voogt (83) knitting bootees and bonnets for the premature babies at Tygerberg and Karl Bremer hospitals.

Margaret Voogt (83) knitting bootees and bonnets for the premature babies at Tygerberg and Karl Bremer hospitals.

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When her children left school 33 years ago, she decided to be of service to her community and fellow man.

Since the 1980s Margaret Voogt (83) from Blomtuin, Bellville, has dedicated her whole life to serving her fellow man and community – and is still doing it. She is one of the finalists in the 80 years and older category of the Community Champions Elder Awards presented by People’s Post, TygerBurger and City Vision, in partnership with Spec-Savers.

“I don’t like being in the limelight but prefer to be in the background. This is my 34th year dedicating my time to be of service to whoever needs it and it started 34 years ago when my kids were still at Durbanville High School,” Margaret said when TygerBuger visited her at home.

She worked in the tuck shop at the school and when her kids left school she had to find something else to do.

“I started with a refreshment trolley at Tygerberg and Karl Bremer hospitals for all the wards. When the nurses decided to open their own tuck shop I started with needlework. We made toiletry bags for kids in hospital over the festive season and gave it as gifts to the patients. In the bags were shampoo and other toiletries.

“Nowadays, I am knitting bootees and caps for premature babies. I collect secondhand clothing and every three months we have a sale. My team and I usually stored the clothing in boxes at the hospital, but a storeroom was cleaned and we use that space as our storeroom,” Margaret said.

She visits Karl Bremer every Thursday and all the clothes that are not sold are handed over to Patricia Groenewald of Avondale, to hand out where there is a need.

“We sometimes get knitted squares and use that to make blankets for the rape centre at Karl Bremer hospital. The past 20 years I am a volunteer catering coordinator at the Bellville East Reformed Church for the non-governmental organisation, Koningskinders. This is a group of underprivileged kids that we take on a camping trip every term.

“The kids are from Aristea Primary School in Kraaifontein and the principal selects who attends the camps. The camp is over five days and is held at the Melkbosstrand Cultural Centre and matrics or college students are the group leaders. Each group leader has three children to take care of for the duration of the camp and the camp has a Christian theme,” she said.

The leader and kids read the Bible, say a prayer and are involved in certain activities like a concert and dress up. As part of her involvement with Koningskinders she makes food parcels and distributes them in the Kraaifontein community.

At her local church, she has been doing flower baskets for sick people every Sunday since 2000 to brighten their day.

“I don’t have money to give away but God gave me hands to reach out and contribute with. As I mentioned in the beginning, I don’t want publicity but appreciate the fact that I was nominated for the Community Champions Elders Award,” she chuckled.

Her compassion for the needy continues to be her daily focus despite her age and fragility. She has 11 great-grandchildren for whom she also knits beanies and bonnets when she gets time, and is waiting to hear the gender of her next great-grandchild.V The winners of the awards will be announced at a morning tea on 12 October in Cape Town. Winners and runners-up will walk away Shoprite vouchers and other prizes sponsored by TygerBurger, People’s Post, City Vision, and Spec-Savers.

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