By Toni Erasmus

“It’s not what we have in life, but who we have in our life that matters.”

 – J.M Lawrence

Today, 30 July, is International Friendship Day – a day dedicated to celebrating our friendships: the old, treasured ones and new, fresh ones still budding as they unfold. We also celebrate friends who share the heart for saving lives through blood donation – those who embody a friend to someone in need.

Life in its entirety is fragile, with no guarantee of waking up tomorrow and with so many uncertainties in our country and the globe; celebrating life is pivotal to mirror the life inside of us. This is the life that is found to be flowering in purpose-filled friendships: “The family we choose with the heart.”

Highlighting Some Flowering Friendships

A beautiful friendship blossomed between Faith Sam (left) and Lilitha Hermanus (right) a year ago when they ended up in the same class at COSAT High School in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. The two share a love for maths and science, and they both have a heart to save lives.

They believe their friendship is built on honesty, and they are both grateful for having a true friend who will call you out when you are wrong and be there to celebrate every victory with you – no matter how big or small.

The two girls have signed up to become blood donors and will donate together for the first time at their school. They hope that they will continue sharing this heart to donate blood together next year as they start university and live life beyond the school walls.

Siyamamkela Kasiboto (left) and Shane Ncapayi (right) are brothers on a mission to save lives. Their unique friendship is one of a kind, wrapped in ‘hitting rap star bars’, politics and football – talks. For ten years, they have worked in the same building and habitually take lunch together; they believe that doing good may help others who have a brotherhood as they do. These two have taken up the challenge to donate blood because they have seen the effects of violence and how it affects innocent people who end up being hospitalised and in need of life-saving blood. Saving lives together has become part of their friendship and a way to spend more time together.

Netball enthusiast Joané du Plessis (left) and bookworm Liandrie Strydom (right) are work besties who believe they can’t start a normal workday without a mandatory catch-up session.

They often donate blood together at their offices at Goreefers Logistics, with Liandrie having to encourage and persuade Joané as she is terrified of needles. However, this time around, Joané suffered an injury to the ankle, which did not allow her to donate blood but despite this, nothing, not even her crutches, could keep her away from accompanying her friend to the donation centre.

Renee Adams (left) describes herself as a wife and mother, and someone who cares. “It is knowing that my blood is going to someone who needs it that makes the donation worth it,” Renee says, her eyes beaming with passion.

As a blood donor champion and a loving friend, she inspired Anthea Paulse (right) to become a donor. Their friendship started with a deep-seated faith and love for God and the daily encouragement they share with each other. They also take long walks around the complex of their work building to gain kilometres that will be donated to charity – it is clear why this friendship has a beautiful aroma of kindness and growth.

Happy World Friendship Day to Friends That Matter!

For a more exhilarating friendship, celebrate life and live every moment built on purpose. Shake up your next coffee date, catch-up session or whatever you like to do with your friends by doing something remarkable – just like our flowering friends who save lives with every blood donation. So next time you are in one of the malls, where we have a blood donation clinic, phone a friend and donate blood.