gail schimmel

The blog of writer Gail Schimmel: A bit of writing, a bit of parenting, a bit of thinking and some book reviews


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Last Mandela Day, I happened to have coffee with my friend Janine Musto. We were both feeling bad because we hadn’t done our 67 minutes of service*, and had no plans too. It’s a bit tougher when you aren’t involved with a corporate, and I am always a bit dubious about what use I’d be to anybody in 67 minutes. I can see that I have the skills to help an organisation over a long period, but I’m not really a “build a shelter in 67 minutes” kind of gal.

In the years before, I had donated R670 to a charity that I felt espoused Mandela-values. I really do believe that many charities can use my money more than an hour of my un-skilled (in the areas they need) time. But last year July was a bad one for me financially, and even though I was still better off than most South Africans, R670 was not available for charity.

So Janine and I were talking about this, and about making small differences, and about the challenge of finding ways to do this, and the bill came. We’d eaten a piece of chocolate cheese cake between us, and had coffee. The bill was about R50. And then it came to us. We tipped the waiter R67 and wrote “Happy Mandela Day” on the slip.
He was thrilled! He took the slip and said he’d keep it forever.
Because for some people, R67 can make their day.

This year, we want other people to join us in the #R67 tip. Don’t be a tosser, and tip R67 for a R500 bill and think you’re a star. In that case, tip R670!

Maybe you’ll give it to a waiter, or a car guard, or a security guard, or a beggar, or the guy who fills your car with petrol, or the guy you buy your paper from, or any one of the other hundreds of South Africans who have very, very little, and could use a brush with kindness.

Maybe you’re in the money this month, and you can prepare 10 envelopes with a R67 tip in each. Maybe you want to make one person’s day, and give a beggar R670. Take it and run with it – but we’d love you to check in here, or hashtag #R67tip on twitter, and let us know

See you on Mandela Day!

*A note for foreigners
18 July is Nelson Mandela’s birthday, and South Africans are called upon to donate 67 minutes of their time to charity. The significance of 67 is that those are the years that Mandela gave in service to the people of South Africa.


One thought on “#R67tip

  1. Pingback: 67 MINUTES | Unspoken Truths

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