Teddies find a new home after 20 years

Sheila Marthinussen donated 50 teddy bears to Christine Revell Children’s Home in Athlone. Ms Marthinussen kept her grandson’s teddy bears for 20 years, and decided to donate them to the home.

A Sybrand Park grandmother who “preserved” her grandson’s soft toys for 20 years in the hope of passing them on to her future great-grandchildren has decided to donate them to the Christine Revell Children’s Home in Athlone instead.

On Saturday November 25, Sheila Marthinussen handed over 50 teddy bears and other soft toys, as well as some baby blankets and clothes to the home. Her grandson, Declan Smith, 21, moved overseas with his family when he was 1.

“My daughter, Winsheena Smith, is a teacher. When she and her family left South Africa for America, Declan was 1. They lived in America until he was 3 years old, and then moved to Essex in the United Kingdom, where they still live.

“Declan is the kindest and sweetest, and I preserved the teddy bears in the hope for when they come home, or to keep them for his children. Initially, I was thinking of selling the teddy bears, but while having quiet time, I heard God saying to me that I must donate them to a children’s home,” Ms Marthinussen said.

She is part of Sybrand Park Christ Church’s women’s Bible-study group, and she asked the group if they could suggest a children’s home. Someone suggested Christine Revell, and she made contact and visited the home.

“I fell in love with this place. The social worker told me they care for 46 children. My Bible-study group then came on board, and I decided to wrap the teddies and personalise them. I also received a donation of chips, which we also handed over. My group members helped me with wrapping and tagging the children’s names on every teddy bear.”

Christine Revell Children’s Home manager Annelise Scholtz said they were grateful for the donation.

“We are a non-profit organisation, and we depend on donations from businesses and the public. We receive 60% of our budget from the Department of Social Development and the other 40% we are dependent on donors to assist us. We always appreciate the assistance we receive from the community. Every little bit helps.”

The team who helped on this project, are, from left, Yolanda Mullins, Zee Davids, Pearl Jason, Sheila Marthinussen, Vicci Fielding, Tracy Erasmus, and Beverley Boult.
Sheila Marthinussen and her grandson, Declan Smith, 21, when they last saw each other two years ago during his visit to South Africa.