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.