Maxine Gray , South Africa
The Winter Warmer seeks to protect children against the cold during winter by providing them with either blankets or beanies and scarves. Founded in 2010, The Winter Warmer provides clothing items to children to help them keep warm and feel safe, which in turn allows them to focus on their school work.
Maxine and her team of 50 volunteers spend roughly four months each year planning and implementing the project, and have reached over 10,000 people to date. The 2018 campaign prioritised providing children and adults with polar fleece beanie hats and scarves to help them battle the elements on their commute, which can often be long and exposes them to the harshest weather conditions. The Winter Warmer teamed up with 44 beneficiary organisations including various crèches, community centres, charity organisations and shelters to help distribute the donated items. Funds were raised through individual and corporate donations as well as through a competition in collaboration with an online shop. Maxine developed a partnership with a polar fleece manufacturer called Blue Motion through a fellow One Young World Ambassador. Blue Motion agreed to manufacture the hat and scarf sets and sell them to the Winter Warmer team at highly discounted prices, maximising the impact of each donation.
The Winter Warmer is part of “imagine.nation”, a nonprofit in conjunction with fellow One Young World Ambassadors in South Africa that focuses on social entrepreneurship and technology education.