Real Estate Agent, Survivor SA participant, founder of #LoafDay. Paul Smulder certainly has had some amazing life experiences.
He recently sat down with Jarette Petzer to talk about what led to the establishment of the #LoafDay initiative, it’s exponential growth thanks to the involvement of the #ImStaying community, and how we can continue to support the hungry during this time of lockdown.
The gratitude . . . made an tremendous impact on him
Paul saw those begging for food at the robots in a whole new way after participating in the TV show, Survivor SA. On a certain level he was able to identify with them, although his experience with hunger was short term. It was then that he decided to start buying fresh loaves once a week, cutting them in ½, and giving them away. The gratitude at receiving a fresh 1/2 loaf, often still warm, made an tremendous impact on him and he realized the enormity of the need.
And so #LoafDay was conceived.
They wanted to be part of a larger group effort to fight hunger in South Africa
Paul’s efforts were brought to the attention of #ImStaying. After a couple of posts appeared on the facebook group, he received numerous offers for help. People wanted to be part of #LoafDay. They wanted to be part of a larger group effort to fight hunger in South Africa.
Before long 3 000 members were participating in the challenge, purchasing a minimum of 4 x ½ loaves each week. Many offered MUCH more by making sandwiches, buying cool drinks and fruit.
Since the start of the lockdown on 27 March, #LoafDay has committed itself to supporting Krugersdorp-based ministry Cradle of Hope. This organisation, which focuses on assisting women and children in desperate need, has a need of 100 loaves/day. #LoafDay has commited to supplying this need until the end of the lockdown, whenever that takes place.
He’s rallied South African citizens to help
When asked how this initiative has affected him, Paul says:
“When you see the need, you want to do more and more and more, and you can’t always do that. BUT you can get others on board.”
And that is exactly what Paul has done. He’s rallied South African citizens to help. To give whatever they can towards this effort, regardless of whether it’s R5 or R10,000. To be absolutely clear, he stresses that none of the donations during this lockdown go to #LoafDay. Instead they go straight to the supplier of the bread and the initiative monitors how the funds are spent.
What is Paul’s takeaway from this time in lockdown?
“Hang in there. As much as there’s negative to it, there’s also positive that we can take from this.”
Edited By: Maggie Wolfe Miller
GOOD THOUGHTS • GOOD WORDS • GOOD DEEDS