Who said older people always need to be on the receiving end of community generosity? The residents and staff members of Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre (RSCC) were the ones who did the giving this Mandela Day when they baked cookies for a nearby youth centre.
Busy hands and happy hearts characterised their full-day bake-a-thon on July 18. The result? Around 140 home-baked and beautifully decorated gingerbread biscuits that were joyfully donated to Refilwe Legae Home and the Ikemeleng Community Youth Centre in Alexandra.
The morning was spent mixing and rolling out the dough and using cookie cutters to create the distinctive gingerbread people. Creativity was unleashed in the afternoon, as the decorators set about giving each gingerbread person a unique identity.
The boy cookies were ‘dressed’ in buttoned shirts or T-shirts, shorts and ties or bow-ties; while the girls were outfitted with lovely dresses or tops and skirts and given bright red lips, nice hair and colourful bows.
“This was a wonderful project showing that frail older persons needing care can also reach out and give care to others, which is one of the principles of the Eden Alternative,” says Zabeth Zühlsdorff, Rand Aid’s manager of services and the advance division.
“It is also very fitting that it took place on Mandela Day as reaching out and giving back resulted in a great sense of achievement for our residents,” she adds.
Rand Aid’s manager of recreational programmes Debbie Christen says RSCC’s residents and staff thoroughly enjoyed Mandela Day and were pleased to be able to make the biscuits for the children in Alexandra. Some of the residents also enjoyed recalling how they used to make gingerbread men for their own children and grandchildren.
“The children were thrilled and excited to receive the unexpected treats and were happy to know that the ‘gogos’ at RSCC made these biscuits with love, especially for them,” she adds.