Nicarela is a compassionate and dedicated charity organization comprised of volunteers with a commitment to making a positive impact on the community.
At the core of Nicarela's mission lies the belief that everyone can make a difference. We understand that even the smallest gestures can have a life-changing impact. Whether it be making education accessible, supporting orphanages, providing food for those in need or helping a family going through a crisis, Nicarela is always ready to step forward and lend a helping hand.
With Nicarela, compassion and determination are never in short supply. Through our two major events, namely the Potjiekos Competition and the Parkview Christmas market, and our various smaller ones we aim to raise as much as possible to allow us to help the community around us.
Nicarela is not simply a charity; it is a beacon of hope for those facing challenging circumstances. Through our financial assistance and personal care, we aim inspire people to believe in brighter futures.
The Full Story
It all started when Karola McArthur, a newcomer to our Church, approached Reverend Chunky Young, our minister at the time, with an idea that would spark more positive change than we could have imagined. She envisioned an annual Christmas Market, inspired by the enchanting markets of her home country, Germany. The purpose was clear - to create an independent organization, raise additional funds and expand our Outreach to help even more people in need. As they say, “community is the heart of humanity”.
Chunky guided Karola to me, as I had the privilege of serving as the Convenor of St Columbas’ Outreach at the time. Karola shared magical pictures of the markets in Germany with Rev. Chunky and I, where snow blanketed the ground beneath thousands of twinkling lights and charming stalls beckoned with warmth.
The idea took hold and Karola proposed that we launch our first market in December 2008. While we couldn't make snow, we could certainly get our hands on thousands of lights and recreate the magic of Christmas. "Why wait until 2008?" I asked, and with unwavering resolve, we embarked on our mission a year sooner.
With little time left Rev. Chunky and I rallied a group of exceptional individuals, including Elna Blom, Nico Kruger, Margie Varney, Bridget von Holdt, Mike Hume and Ken McArthur. Together, we invested what we could into our inaugural market. We had an Oyster and bubbly bar, a beer tent, enticing food stalls and around 30 craft stalls.
Our first market made a loss of pretty much what we spent on the lights. Worth it. Fortunately, St Columba’s was there to help us keep the dream alive. With determined hearts 2008 came around, and with renewed vigour we recreated our goal and the income soared, making a profit of R300,000. Our first task was to repay the Church’s trust and the remaining went out to homes and shelters through the Parkview community, finally realising the dream of helping others.
Over time, our family of compassionate souls has grown. Names like Marius Homewood, Alethea Homewood, Linda Hamilton, Peter Atteridge, Garreth Young, Jill Nimmo, Elvina Young, Sally Downie, Samantha Morrison, Pam Batwell, Ann Klemptner, Liezel Yonkheid, Pauline Shelver, Sarah O'Brien, Brent Ferguson, Steve Lindes, Eddie and Lauren Germiquet have become integral to our mission and the backbone of the foundation.
And today, we are fortunate enough to embrace a vibrant, younger generation, eager to carry the torch forward with their boundless energy and dedication.
But it is all because of you, the sponsor, the volunteer, the attendee, that allow us to make the differences that we do. Since the start of our journey, we have raised and donated over 7 million Rand, changing more lives than we ever thought possible. While Covid did hit us hard we are excited to be back and to continue to bring positive change to the community.
Our journey began with a simple idea and a shared commitment to make a difference. Together, we have turned that vision into a reality, and I am deeply grateful to each one of you for being part of this incredible journey.
With heartfelt thanks,
Founder, Nicarela Charity
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