With thoughts and efforts focused on the Argus Cycle Tour just 3 days away, it gets easy to forgot about everything else going about around us. The CounterBalance Trust has still been seeing the impact of the Freedom Revolution Unicycle Tour (come on, it’s too early to have forgotten what that was about! One of the organizations that felt inspired by the Tour was CAG.

The Community Action Group (CAG) of Herzlia Middle School in Cape Town does amazing and very diverse work with the goal of helping others. Some of the things they have been involved with include regularly visiting Children’s Homes, Homes for Seniors and Hospitals, arranging a weekly collection of sandwiches for Foodbank (an organization which distributes them to children in need). They also collect tsedekah (charity) for a nominated charity each term. This is where the CounterBalance Trust comes in.

For this school term, CAG has nominated the CounterBalance Trust as their charity to support! And not just by collecting money and handing it over. Margie Cook, in charge of CAG, has planned a barefoot Civvies Day with each pupil contributing R5,00 AND a pair of second hand shoes in good condition. WOW! Not only will this make a dent in our goal of collecting 2000 pairs of shoes for school children in South Africa, but I think Margie has found a way of really bringing the plight of shoeless children to life for the pupils or Herzlia. So easy is it to see pictures of poverty, to imagining the needs of others. But too in some way actually EXPERIENCE it adds a certain reality and remembrance to the issue.

I was invited to speak to the Herzlia Middle School staff and Pupils at their Friday morning assembly before the interhouse Swimming Gala. Armed with a few words and a lot of pictures from the Tour, I was pleasantly surprised at the interest that the learners had in not just the unicycle, but also the goal of the tour. The impact that this had is best conveyed by looking at how well the recent barefoot civvies day was received – almost 300 pairs of shoes were donated by the pupils. THREE HUNDRED PAIRS OF SHOES! That is thirty tens of pairs of shoes! 600 shoes! 6000 toes (give or take a few of course)!

So to Margie Cook and the Herzlia Middle School CAG, the CounterBalance Trust thanks you for your support, generosity, and creativity in spreading the word about our goal to donate 2000 pairs of shoes to your peers. The impact that a pair of shoes has on the lives of those that receive them is more than can be described, and I hope that you all realise what an influence your contribution of “just “ a pair of shoes is making to the growth of South Africa.