Rubi’s Rainbow – Spreading hope one pair of shoes at a time

Rubi Nates in Grade 4 at Herzlia Constantia, has started a shoe and sock collection for the homeless and needy in the Western Cape.

To date, her organisation, Rubi’s Rainbow of Hope, has collected over 2800 pairs of shoes and distributed them to charities across Cape Town. They have been featured in the People’s Post twice as well as Die Burger and have been interviewed on Cape Talk, KFM, Voice of the Cape and Radio 786.

The Chronicle caught up with Rubi to find out more about the project.

“My mom showed me a story about a boy in Johannesburg called Dario who was collecting gently worn shoes for homeless and needy people. I thought we should do it in Cape Town so we could help even more people.”

Rubi is no stranger to outreach work: “I also helped my mom and some other people at The Street Store last year, organised by The Angel Network. We gave away clothing and shoes to homeless people. I saw how desperate people were for not only shoes but also for socks.”

She then decided to take matters into her own hands. “We started our collection of gently worn shoes and socks for all ages, males and females, by asking family and friends and were so grateful when my school and Herzlia Weizmann agreed to collect as well. Two Herzlia nursery schools, Kerem and Alon Ashel, also collected. We planned to start distributing them when we reached 1000, but there were just too many and the collection was taking up too much space in our house, so we started sending out the shoes in February. My original goal was 1001, but as I passed that goal I realised I wanted to achieve more because the more people we helped the better.”

The project has grown quickly from then “We are now at nearly 3000 pairs of shoes and want to keep going and going and going. We have a Facebook page and lots of people have heard about the collection and donated but we would like even more people to donate because it feels so good to help people” Says Rubi.

Rubi’s Rainbow of Hope has had some wonderful supporters. “We were very lucky that some companies also donated shoes, Buccaneer shoes gave us about 200 pairs of school shoes and Homechoice gave us lots of ladies shoes and boots. There was a shopping centre in Vredendal and they had a collection in their mall. Also Queue Shoes and Sorbet collected at a few of their stores. Old Mutual’s head office are also collecting for our project.”

Rubi has grown through her outreach project. “I’ve learnt how lucky I am to have shoes and a house and realised how many people are homeless.

I have seen what hard lives some people live and how fortunate I am to have a loving family and people who are there to support me. I hope that when other children read about what I am doing, they feel grateful for what they have and they may also think about ways to help people.

I’ve really enjoyed being interviewed on the radio stations and being interviewed for newspapers and all the new opportunities I have gotten by doing this project. I’ve met a lot of new people and learnt about how different people live.”

Rubi finds her project so rewarding. “Seeing the joy on people’s faces when we give the shoes or seeing photos of children getting their shoes makes me feel very happy because I am helping them.”

Rubi’s Rainbow of Hope is trying to collect as many pairs of shoes as possible for the cold winter months ahead, so would be incredibly grateful if our readers would consider donating shoes to this worthwhile cause. Shoes can be dropped at any Barksole branch around the Western Cape.

Visit their Facebook page or email them for more information. Rubi’s Rainbow Of Hope or


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here