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Rotarian Clive R Hassell sent us this heartwarming story about a community charity event they organised with the help of a local Bikers Club, and the H.O.G. Black Mountains Chapter of South Wales in the UK.

With Rotary as matchmaker, two biking clubs who are a world apart, improved the lives of every person in the informal settlement not just for an evening, but for the whole winter.

"The Rotary Club of Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape has an annual project called “Winter Nights”, which is where we collect warm clothing & blankets, then take them to an informal settlement, along with gallons of hot soup.  This year we went to an area in Uitenhage called Lapland.

"The people of Lapland have nothing to their names and live in small rickety tin shacks with no electricity or amenities.  The whole settlement of 200 people has only one standpipe tap at the point where their dirt track leaves the road.  Here in Uitenhage we certainly get frosts at night, so you can imagine just how cold and forlorn those people get.

"One of the local Bikers Clubs, Victory Riders, decided our collection of blankets and warm clothing was something they could assist with, so they started collecting.  With this in mind, a member of our Rotary Club contacted a friend who is in The Black Mountains Chapter of the Harley Owners Group® in South Wales, UK.  The two clubs communicated and the Harley Owners willingly agreed to support their fellow bikers and assist with a donation.

‘’It’s immensely rewarding that we join can join forces for such a worthwhile cause – even with the miles between us’’ – said Alan Holland, Safety Officer. ‘’We appreciate the work that both Rotary Club and Victory Riders do for local Charities, as they are very much like ourselves in Swansea, South Wales.

"The eventual donation of over 100 blankets and packs of warm clothing from the two clubs, plus what the Rotary Club collected meant that there was sufficient to make a massive difference in the settlement.

"Having gathered all the donations the Rotary Club, their wives and a contingent from the local constabulary arrived in the early evening with cauldrons of piping hot soup, 40 loaves of bread and mugs to serve the soup in, which they could keep.  The club handed out 200 mugs of soup and via a ticket system every household got blankets, there were also over 150 clothing packs of assorted size clothing and every kid also got a warm beanie and scarf

Captions for photos:  Victory Riders with the Rotary Club at the collection point.  Black Mountain 1 & 2 The Black Mountain Chapter.  Kids & Crowd at the distribution point in “Lapland”.

Story and photos courtesy of Clive Haskell of the Rotary Club of Uitenhage South.

More Information
Black Mountains H.O.G. Chapter in Wales donate to Uitenhage charity drive
Victory Riders - a local Eastern Cape Motorcycle Club with the Rotary Club at the collection point.
The Lapland informal settlement in Uitenhage
Photos courtesy of Clive Haskell of the Rotary Club of Uitenhage South.