Doing charity work is my passion and I truly believe in the principle of "Paying it forward".  I have been involved in charity work for a number of years, long before I started modelling.  Having titles and being part of the Pageants SA team, I now have a platform to create more awareness and obtain more support for the charities I support.

You will be surprised what difference a smile and a hug can make!  If I can just help one person at a time, I've made a difference!  Please join me and "Pay it forward".


Raising Aidan Foundation Charity

Aidan was diagnosed at 18 months with a very rare genetic disorder called Costello Syndrome. So rare he is the 2nd diagnosis in SA and only 4 – 500 people have it world-wide.

He needs abdominal scans every 3 months to screen for cancerous tumours, and heart scans as he has a thickened left ventrical wall. He was born with Culcaneo Vulgus Feet which were corrected surgically in May 2015, he also needed surgery on his spine to release a tethered cord in July 2016, and his latest op (his 11th general anaesthetic) was 3 months later to remove growths protruding into his eyes ... amongst other challenges.

My challenge was to bake as many cupcakes as I could for the event that was hosted at my school.  I volunteered for the day and also iced hundreds op cupcakes, no literally ... 100's!


Tembisa Hospital

Visiting the pediatric wards at Tembisa Hospital, just in time to spread some Christmas cheer.  Also visited the Pediatric Burn Unit.  I was surprised how full this ward was. It is alarming on how many babies/toddlers have burn wounds due to falling into basins with hot water and also by grabbing bowls of hot porridge.


Mary Moodley Youth and Child Care Centre

Assisting mom with a Christmas party at the Mary Moodley Youth and Child Care Centre in Benoni.  What an amazing experience.  To see the smiles on the faces were priceless and definitely worth all the hard work!  This is what Christmas is all about!!!


St Francis Care Centre - Rainbow Cottage


Frida Hartley Shelter

The Frida Hartley Shelter for destitute women and children, takes in homeless women, and their children who have endured neglect, abuse, trauma and homelessness. They shelter individuals who have lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet. The shelter is a non-profit organisation that aims to empower women, through providing accommodation, psycho-social support, employment, and training. The Frida Hartley Shelter also provides nutrition and childcare to the children housed at the shelter with their mother.

This was my first visit to the shelter.  We donated toys, lucky packets, sweet treats for the children, toiletries and bags.  If you can assist the shelter in any way, their contact details as follows:

Frida Hartley Shelter For Destitute Women & Children
Tel: + 27 11 648 6005
Cell: + 27 76 186 4648 


Visiting the Pediatrics Cancer Ward at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital (Old Jhb Gen)

 Visiting all the little fighters at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital.  Spoiling them with lucky packets, toys, hats, gloves and beanies.  But most importantly spending time with each child and also supporting and comforting the parents.  Thank you to my "pageant sister", Charne van Eeden for joining me on this visit.


Cupcakes for Monya  

Little Monya van Wyk of Van Riebeeck Park was diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic leukemia earlier this year.  She is undergoing chemotherapy and it is her dream to have a beach holiday.  As part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and the Cupcakes 4 Kids with Cancer initiative, Fonso’s Bakery decided to start its own initiative, Cupcakes for Monya, to raise money for her beach dream.

Thank you Charne van Eeden & Melinda van Eeden for joining us!


Charity Fashion Show 


Child Cancer Awareness Month 


Launch - Just in Time Baby Sanctuary 


Women's Day,  Strathyre Girl's Home Visit  


Slipper Day  


Siphumulele Children's Home Visit


Paediatrics Ward Visit, Arwyp Hospital 


Visit to the Salvation Army, Benoni

To celebrate Mandela Day this year, I joined my modeling school (Model Manifest Kempton Park) on a visit to the Salvation Army in Benoni. I donated old clothes, toiletries and sweet packets. I really enjoyed being part of the group and being able to make a difference.


Fashion Show at Tweedy Park Old Age Home  


Donating Christmas Gifts to Various Children's Homes


Christmas Visit:  Igugulethu

What an incredible event!  Instead of having a traditional Year-End Party, Mom's company arranged a very special Christmas Party for the children at Igugulethu.  Everybody helped with decorating the walls.  Thank you to Byron and his team from Sweetooth who painted the pictures!  From boring walls to amazing and lively walls! There was a mini farmyard, a magician and so much more.  To see all the happy faces was priceless. It was so special to be part of this event. Events like this teaches everybody to make a difference!


Visiting Little Fighters in the Children's Oncology Wards

A letter from my special friend.  You will always be in my heart!


Special Christmas Visit to the Salvation Army

We are regular visitors to the Salvation Army in Benoni.  After meeting a special little girl by the name of Hope, we knew we had to bring a Christmas miracle to her.  Hope can't walk and her brother and mother used to carry her everywhere as they didn't have a wheelchair.  We decided to change that. Antoinette Grobler from the Salvation Army arranged for us to attend a morning service just before Christmas so that we can hand over a special gift to little Hope... a new wheelchair.

Hospital Visits:  Jhb General Hospital & Edenvale Hospital

Visited the children's wards and surprised the children with cupcakes and sweet packets.

Visiting and donating food to the SPCA Kempton Park

Raising funds for the SPCA Kempton Park

This letter was forwarded to us by Carolyn Baldwin-Botha, the Director of Pageants SA:

26 February 2014

"Pageants SA

To Whom It May Concern

Please allow me this opportunity to commend you on your outstanding ambassador, Miss Cayla and of course her family.

This is our story:

We recently moved (temporary) to Johannesburg due to my daughters’ need for medical treatment.  Kerri, my darling angel, is 7 years old.  Kerri was diagnosed with cancer late last year and began chemotherapy and radiation in December 2013.  She was hospitalised for almost 9 weeks and this is where we first met Miss Cayla.  Miss Cayla together with her brother and mom, visited the hospital just before Christmas.  They were so cheerful and they were wearing the cutest Christmas hats!

When they came into our ward, the mood instantaneously changed.  Miss Cayla and brother Jarod, had dozens of gift- and sweet parcels that they were handing out to the children.  It was more than just handing out the gifts; they engaged with each little patient.  Not to mention that each little patient got a hug as well.

They stood next to Kerri’s bed and introduced themselves.  Miss Cayla was wearing a sash and Kerri was so excited about the visit.  Of course, Kerri wanted to know more about her (Miss Cayla).  Miss Cayla explained that she was the 2nd Princess, Queen of the Universe and explained to Kerri what the pageant was all about and everything she had to do at the pageant.  What a sweet little girl.  I believe that something special happened between the girls that day.  When it came to saying goodbye, both girls had tears in their eyes and I could see it wasn’t going to be easy but Miss Cayla promised that she would visit again. 

Kerri did not stop talking about her new “friend” and even on days when she was very ill, asked about her new friend and said she wished Miss Cayla was there.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she would probably never see her again.  I sat next to my angel child every evening, whilst she prayed for another visit. 

I was truly surprised when the family arrived the following weekend.  I wish I could describe the look on Kerri’s little face when she saw her friend!  Miss Cayla had another gift for Kerri, a fluffy white teddy bear.  Not just a plain old teddy, no way!  This teddy was wearing a sash, really!  A sash made from paper and “Queen of the World” in neat handwriting.  Teddy was also wearing a real crown, one of Miss Cayla’s crowns that she had won.  Miss Cayla handed teddy over to Kerri and put the crown on Kerri’s bald little head and said “you are the real princess”.  On invitation, Miss Cayla sat on the bed and they talked for hours! 

Over the next few weeks, Miss Cayla and her family visited regularly.  Kerri fought nausea, severe pain, skin rashes just to mention some of the side effect but nothing could keep her down when she wore the magic crown as Miss Cayla called it.  

It was very difficult to see my child go through this terrible ordeal.  What made it even more difficult was the fact that we had no family or friends in Johannesburg.  I was heartbroken every time I had to leave my precious child alone at the hospital.  In the same breath I would like to thank our Creator for “sending “me this family.  Miss Cayla, who climbed into bed next to Kerri just to hold her hand and read her stories, helped her go to the bathroom, change payamas, brushed Kerri’s teeth, painted her nails and even giving her foot massages.  Brother Jarod, for entertaining the girls with finger-puppet shows, jokes, reading stories and playing “Go fish”.

To the very special mom, thank you for being my shoulder to cry on, thank you for bringing your children so often, thank you for looking after my angel when I couldn’t be there, thank you for all the toiletries, clothes and most of all thank you for all of you.  Thank you for still keeping in touch and checking up on us.  We are so happy to be back at the farm in Rustenburg. 

I’m well aware that the family do not want any recognition and therefor I’ve left out mom’s name and their surname.  However, I feel that I need to acknowledge this special family and especially Miss Cayla as she was also representing “Pageants SA”.  If I am able to use my story to inspire just one other person, I will be satisfied. 

Yours truly 

Carmen Allasio

PS.  Kerri is recovering well but misses her friend."

This letter was forwarded to us by Carolyn Baldwin-Botha, the Director of Pageants SA:

31 January 2014

"Dear Pageants SA
I’ve wanted to write this e-mail for a while now and decided I’m doing it today!

I’m currently studying towards my social worker qualification and also volunteer at various children’s homes and charities.  As you can imagine, we work with people from all walks of life and see people in desperate need of basic items like food, clothing, toiletries etc.  But just as important, the need for understanding, compassion, caring and of course TLC.  It is very easy to donate tangible items but what about the other aspects?  This is where you distinguish between the “have-to-be” and “want-to-be” volunteers.  Let me explain my statement (and this is from personal experience).  I have seen models, girls with crowns/sashes with impressive titles from all ages visiting organisations just so that they can show that photo to proof they do charity work, so sad actually!  Never seen any of the girls really interact with the children (especially with the HIV orphans), until December last year.

I was helping out at a small safe haven for HIV orphans & children with HIV.  A family (mom with her son and daughter) visited the home during December and handed out gifts and sweet packets to all the children.  The gifts were done so nicely, with ribbons and little Christmas card on each gift.  Wish you could see the little ones’ faces!  I was pre-occupied with a baby at the time but observed the family from a distance.  The boy picked up a toddler and walked around singing whilst his sister was playing rotten egg with some of the girls.  The mom helped with feeding the babies.  I was so stunned that they never hesitated (not even once!) to touch or interact with these children.  And do you know what I realised?  No camera in sight, no posing for photos, nothing … just playing with the children and having fun.

The girl was wearing a sash from Pageants SA, it wasn’t a Winner sash but a 2nd Princess sash.  I have never seen anyone with a 2nd Princess sash doing charity work and immediately thought why?  They weren’t even taking any photos?

I overheard one of the older girls telling her that they like her pretty shoes and earrings.  Without hesitation the girl took off her shoes and earrings and just gave it to her.  Wow, did not expect that.  I could not believe it and neither did the other girl.  Tears rolling down her face and telling everyone that she also wants to be a second princess one day.

This is what charity is really about - giving quality time to people in need, doing it with love and so much passion and not expecting anything in return.  My wish for all the models and girls out there, learn from this and do it for the right reasons.

May God bless this beautiful family."

This letter was  published in the Models & Pageantry SA Magazine (January edition):

January 2014

Visiting Boksburg Child Welfare Centre in Boksburg, December 2013

We visited the Boksburg Child Welfare Centre, as part of the Pageants SA team.  It has been such an amazing event and to see all the excited little faces, heart warming!

Visiting the Salvation Army in Benoni, December 2013
We visited the Salvation Army as part of the Milan Models group.

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