We are so excited to report that Vilakazi will appear on Fox 25 this week!

Board member Lauren Dennison will appear with Kelli Dupuy, the reigning champion of our rock-paper-scissors tournament. This was Kelli before dominating at our last tournament:
This should be great! We are so greatful to anchor Liz Dueweke for having us! We hope this will help get the word out about our second rock-paper-scissors tournament, which is Friday evening, by the way.
 
 
We are so excited to kick off the year with two new board members: Megan Elliott and Jackie Mania.

Megan is an executive assistant at Accel Financial. She also happens to be Rotary Queen Extraordinaire.

Jackie is a federal grants manager for Oklahoma City Public Schools. She's a multi-talented runner.

Click here to read all about them!

We are so honored that they've joined the Vilakazi Foundation board. They're both smart, talented women, and we know they'll help the foundation reach even greater heights. Welcome, Megan and Jackie!
 
 
Our end-of-year donations are in and we are so proud to announce the results! We have about $6,000 in our bank account now!

So how does that translate to aid for children in need?

We now have enough money to buy school medical and sports kits for all 22 schools in the Knysna Education Trust. We also have enough to buy supply backpacks for 99 students!

Our goal is to provide all 22 school kits and 350 backpacks, which would be backpacks for 1 in 4 children in the schools. Now we're working toward filling those other 251 backpacks! 

Thank you so, so, so much to our donors who have been so generous! We're a little more than 6 months away from our trip and $4,000 from our goal!
 
 
Happy Holidays! Our first ever donation campaign - Kits for Kids - is off and running. We are proud to report that generous donors have sponsored THREE school kits and TWO backpacks so far! We are so excited! We are inching closer and closer to our goal every day. Right now we are 45 percent of the way there! We hope to break the halfway mark by the end of the year, but we need your help! Please consider sponsoring a backpack for a child or a kit for an entire school. Your donations make a difference in children's lives!
 
 
Our Vilakazi board meetings are usually pretty fun, but there's one meeting every year that the board really looks forward to.

The wine selection meeting.

Monday night we got together and sampled a variety of South African wines. We were real connoisseurs: we ate pizza. But we did come up with a list that we think will be fantastic.

Neil Ellis Sincerely Sauvignon Blanc
Goiya Chardonnay
Goats Do Roam Red (yes, just red)
Sebeka Cape Blend Shiraz Pinotage
KWV Merlot
Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon

Now, keep in mind that this list is tentative. Things could change. But I can tell you right now that we have a few surprises up our sleeves. This is the full list! We've got at least one more exciting wine to share with you! Hooray!

Remember to buy your tickets in advance and get $5 off!
 
 
Vilakazi will once again have a booth out at the annual Plaza Festival! We had so much fun last year that we're back for more! We'll have shirts for sale and show photos and video of what we've accomplished. We hope you'll stop by!

Also, we're looking for some volunteers. You know you want to help! You can help sell shirts and man the booth. We have four 2-hour shifts: 12-2 p.m., 2-4 p.m., 4-6 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. If you're intersted, just email Carrie at ccoppernoll@opubco.com. We hope you'll join us!
 
 
We are so, so grateful for our friends at Midtown Rotary. Last year, we partnered with them to help win a grant to buy water-filtering drinking straws for children in Coffee Bay, South Africa. We were so excited for Midtown Rotary to win the $1,000 grant and turn that into 100 clean water straws for children in the rural South African community. Please click here to read all about it.
 
 
We are so proud to announce the addition of Marc Bell to our Board of Directors. Marc is a kindergarten teacher for Mustang Public Schools who has a vast array of skills. He's an expert at editing video, restoring furniture and playing softball. You can read his full bio here. He also has a love for children. We are so honored that he has joined us in our work to help better the lives of South Africa children through improved access to health, education and athletics.
 
 
It's another exciting day for us as we mail off our response to the IRS about our 501(c)3 status! Hooray! Our reviewing agent mailed us some questions earlier this month, along with a note that our payment wasn't for the correct amount. So we wrote a new check, answered all his questions and dropped it in the mail. We hope to get a response in the coming weeks. We are so excited! Thank you for all our donors and supporters for cheering us on!
 
 
We heard some exciting news about the group that we helped last year. We received this word from Dawn Brochenin, the teacher and leader of the pack:

I am very pleased, proud and happy to tell you all that Sustainable Coffee Bay now has an NPO number.  We received it telephonically on Thursday and will receive the certificate in the post shortly. 

We are so happy for them! We can't wait for the day when we can say the same!