Archive: December 14, 2020

How to make the festive season special for family or friends receiving hospice care

The festive season is traditionally a time of togetherness with those closest to us, but it is easy to forget about the beauty of this time of the year when one has a family member or close friend who is receiving hospice care.

Of course, this doesn’t have to be the case, and there are a myriad of ways to make the festive season special – for you and for your family member. Whether they are receiving palliative care in an in-patient facility or at home, spreading the Christmas cheer will help to lift everyone’s spirit, and end the year with a profound sense of gratitude.

If your loved one is receiving home care

When a family member is receiving palliative care at home, it is important to take note of the following:

  • If guests are coming over, keep in mind that decorations, activities and guest accommodation should not interfere with the aspects and equipment related to your loved one’s care.
  • Ask your relative what Christmas traditions they would like to have incorporated. Find out what their favourite Christmas rituals, songs and movies are, and try to make these a part of your celebrations this year.
  • Remember that your loved one might not be able to keep up with the pace of the silly season – try not overwhelm or over-stimulate them with too many guests or activities at once.

If your loved one is receiving in-patient care

Not having a relative join the rest of the family can by trying for everyone involved, but you can make this time special for a loved one, even when they’re not at home.

  • Christmas is known for the culinary delights associated with it. Ask your loved one what Christmas dishes they have been craving, then prepare these and take it to them on Christmas Day.
  • Take the Christmas spirit to your loved one by putting up decorations and lights in their room – a tiny Christmas tree will literally and figuratively brighten their space.
  • Remember your loved one may not want any Christmas treats – respect that wish.

If you are unable to spend Christmas with your loved one due to Covid-19 restrictions

This year has been challenging for all of us, and indeed, many festive celebrations will be disrupted due to Covid-19. If you are unable to pay your loved one a visit this year, make them feel loved by sending a gift or care package, letting them know that you are with them in spirit. Ensure that you give them a call on Christmas Day to wish them well.

Not being able to be close to our nearest and dearest can be tough on everyone. If you are feeling low at the prospect of not seeing your family member this year, try to incorporate their favourite traditions into your own celebrations to ensure that they are still an integral part of your Christmas festivities.

Fill your Christmas stockings at the HospiceWits shops

If you’ve ever visited one of our HospiceWits charity shops in Johannesburg, you’ll know that the sheer variety available is staggering. No matter what you’re looking for, you’re likely to find it at a HospiceWits shop. Add to this the fact that the items we stock in our shops are very reasonably priced, and it makes sense why HospiceWits’ charity shops should be your first stop when you start ticking items off your Christmas shopping list.

The HospiceWits charity shops are based in Parkmore, Orange Grove and Kensington, along with our regular spot at the Rosebank Flea Market, each with its own collection of treasures. Ranging from second-hand clothing, wool and household appliances to vintage items, board games, books and white elephant items, there is truly something for every taste.

The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly impacted all of our lives this year, and if you are looking to scale down the spend on Christmas presents, or for something to suit the budget set for your company’s Secret Santa celebrations, HospiceWits shops are where you will be able to tick items off your gift-shopping list.

An appeal for donations

Every item sold in our HospiceWits charity shops adds to the funds that our non-profit organisation needs to provide care and support to our patients, and cater for all the costs associated with our palliative care services in Johannesburg and surrounds.

When dropping by to do your Christmas shopping, please consider bringing along unused clothing, books and household and miscellaneous items to donate. Keeping our shelves stocked this December is key – especially considering that you’ll probably leave with more items than when you arrived.

We are always looking for:

• Pots, pans and kitchen goods
• Crockery, cutlery
• Linen and curtains
• Ladies’, men’s and children’s clothing
• Furniture
• Electrical items in working order
• Ornaments, bric-a-brac, general home goods
• Books, DVDs and CDs
• Toys

We always appreciate any non-perishable food donations for distribution to our patients.

Thank you in advance for your support, as we look forward to welcoming you to our HospiceWits charity shops soon during this festive season.


Location: Corner of 11th Street and Elizabeth Avenue
Contact number: 011 883 7242
Email address:

Operating hours

Monday to Friday: 08:00 – 17:00
Saturday: 08:00 – 16:00
Sunday: Closed
Public holidays: 08:00 – 14:00

Orange Grove

Location: 199 Louis Botha Avenue
Contact number: 011 728 1052
Email address:

Operating hours

Monday to Friday: 09:00 – 17:00
Saturday: 08:00 – 16:00
Sunday: Closed
Public holidays: 09:00 – 14:00


Location: 163 Queen Street
Contact number: 011 615 3343
Email address:

Operating hours

Monday to Friday: 08:00 – 17:00
Saturday: 08:00 – 14:00
Sunday: Closed
Public holidays: 09:00 – 14:00

Rosebank Flea Market

Location: Rosebank Mall, 15A Cradock Avenue
Contact number: 011 728 1052
Email address:

Operating hours

Sunday: 08:00 – 16:00

A word of gratitude from HospiceWits

When looking back at 2020, almost all the reflections are likely to speak of a time that was extraordinarily challenging, but that also yielded plenty of reason for hope. As HospiceWits ruminates on the year that has passed, this is certainly also the tone of our musings.

The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic put HospiceWits under immense strain as we continued to provide essential services to our communities. As an NPO, we are reliant upon donations from the public and from industry to help us provide these services. The virus had a devastating effect on livelihoods all across the country and the world, and similarly affected us and other organisations like ours.

Not being able to hold key events on our fundraising calendar in the traditional way certainly didn’t make things easier. However, despite the logistic obstacles that the national lockdown and social distancing requirements brought, we were still able to reinvent these events and present them in the online sphere.

The 7th annual HospiceWits Night With the Stars took to the online realm earlier this year, with more than 200 notable personalities banding together on Instagram, and calling on their supporters to contribute to HospiceWits, whilst raising awareness about the organisation’s work. Among the celebs that lent their voices to the cause on 28 July were Pabi Moloi, Brümilda van Rensburg, Lady Zamar, Gert-Johan Coetzee, David Tlale, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Marcia Barret of the music group, Boney M.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus also hampered this year’s HospiceWits Tree of Light celebration, which is traditionally held at the Johannesburg Zoo. Here, too, the internet provided an alternative outlet to focus our fundraising endeavours, and the first virtual Tree of Light gave supporters the opportunity to purchase virtual globes in remembrance of a loved one or to honour our healthcare workers, and share their messages online.

It goes without saying that the curveballs 2020 threw our way were unprecedented in so many ways. Even so, we have been continuously encouraged this year.

We would like to salute each HospiceWits staff member and volunteer – these selfless people have worked without skipping a beat since the pandemic first hit our shores, and have not ceased to provide palliative care and support services to patients in their care. Across the globe, we have seen the resilience and sheer grit of healthcare workers – we are most grateful to be able to call some of these super humans our colleagues.

Likewise, we thank our loyal supporters that keep providing donations (PPEs, pre-loved goods, meals), and who have undoubtedly also felt the knock of the pandemic in some way or another, but have kept us afloat, year-in and year-out, even when the seas have gotten a little stormy.

Lastly, our deep gratitude to everyone that has in some way contributed to HospiceWits this year. Your support and belief in our quality palliative care knows no bounds.

A new year beckons, and we would like to conclude by again humbly asking for your support in 2021, as we certainly wouldn’t be able to do our work without your contributions.

As we bid 2020 farewell, and all it has brought to bear on South Africa and the world, we go forward in hope. May 2021 be good to one and all.

HospiceWits Tree of Light 2020: Get your globe at these centres

Whilst the HospiceWits Tree of Light picnic and tree-lighting ceremony won’t be taking place as usual this year due to challenges posed by the Covid-19 outbreak, this annual fundraising event is still taking place in the online sphere.

Featuring a virtual tree instead of the brightly lit arboreal giant that HospiceWits supporters have grown used to, this year’s Tree of Light is now more accessible than ever before, enabling people from across the world shine their own light in remembrance or in honour of a loved one. The virtual HospiceWits Tree of Light has already garnered many donations and beautiful dedications to family and friends who have passed.

In order to make it as easy as possible for our supporters to make donations, help us meet our day-to-day financial needs and provide essential care to patients in Johannesburg and surrounds, HospiceWits will be visible in a number of shopping centres where donations can be made and globes to place on the virtual Tree of Light can be purchased.

HospiceWits are in the following shopping centres this festive season:

• Benmore Shopping Centre
Corner of Grayston Drive and Benmore Road, Benmore Gardens, Johannesburg.

HospiceWits will visit the Benmore Centre on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 25 November to 5 December. Find us in the Dis-Chem court.

• Bryanston Shopping Centre
15 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston, Sandton

HospiceWits will have a station in the old Bubble Shop exhibition area on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 25 November to 5 December.

• Eastgate Centre
43 Bradford Road, Bedfordview

Find the HospiceWits station at Eastgate on from Thursday, 26 November to Saturday, 12 December. Our station is located at the information kiosk in front of Toys R Us, Entrance 1.

• Melrose Arch
1 Melrose Square, Old House Lane, Melrose Arch

We will be at the lower-level Galleria at Melrose Arch, Thursday to Saturday from 3 to 5 December, as well as 10 to 12 December.

When visiting these shopping centres, please feel free to drop by and say hello to the HospiceWits foot soldiers manning our stations. Every globe bought for display on the HospiceWits virtual Tree of Light will add to the crucial funds needed to keep our operations going, and will assist us in providing ongoing quality of life to the patients in our care.

Of course, you are still able to purchase a globe online by clicking here.