Helping Hands was initiated as a response to the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on families & the dire need for help with providing food to the destitute.
Helping Hands was formed by the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary with its headquarters at their Retreat and Training Centre in Constantia, Cape Town. The Centre was and still is used as a depot for collecting the various donations, cooking, packaging and then distributing the items received to the various initiatives.
The staff of Helping Hands are involved with the following initiatives:
1. Supplying 220 litres of ready-made soup & bread to 2 community kitchens every week – one in Khayelitsha & the other in Lavender Hill, both of which are poverty-stricken areas of the Cape Flats.
The soup being made & kindly donated by the Woodstock Brewery, or, when necessary, by ourselves, to ensure an ongoing supply during these difficult times.
2. Making up 100’s of ‘Jars of Hope’, with all the ingredients for a ready meal which simply needed to be added to boiling water, cooked for 40 mins & providing a wholesome meal for a family of 4.
3. Identifying & registering a list of ‘households in distress’ to which we provided a food hamper on a weekly basis which usually included fresh vegetables & fruit.
Helping Hands’ stated mission is to reach those individuals within the community that are currently struggling to put food on the table & who are receiving little or no help from elsewhere.
It has fast become a wonderful way to do something positive for our communities in the City of Cape Town during these extremely tough times & has now expanded to encompass help in the form of equipment to, & an appeal for consumables, to assist a frail care centre in Langa which is run by an amazing woman with absolutely no help from government.
In terms of the main focus being the provision of food to the hungry, we are particularly proud of our angel in the community of Khayelitsha – her name is Sandra (see pic below). She won the ‘Lockdown Heroes Times Live’ competition which celebrated South Africans who were making a real difference in their communities. Over the past months, she’s provided thousands of warm, nutritious, home cooked meals to children in her community. We have been doing our best to help make this sustainable.
We also recently distributed hygiene/toiletry packs – these included, soap, a face cloth, a toothbrush & toothpaste, a mask/buff (lovingly made by the Schoenstatt Sisters), hand sanitiser & a little sweetie surprise!
These initiatives have now been running & sustained for over 5 months thanks to our generous donors. A Facebook page was created with feedback & thank you letters with photographs sent to donors, thus providing reassurance that all funds have been used for the correct purpose.
Now, just over 4 months down the line we are experiencing what is referred to as ‘donor fatigue’ & donations are dwindling. This is totally understandable due to the huge wave of requests that most people are exposed to on a daily basis.
WE DO HOWEVER HAVE 3 FINAL WISHES & PRAYERS FOR 2020:
1. We wish to help Sandra with her planned Christmas outing on Saturday, 5th December – this will take the form of a beach outing for 40 – 50 children. We hope to provide them with lunch packs, supply some games, beach bats, balls & if budget permits, a little gift per child.
2. We wish to receive sufficient donations between now & December to make up a bumper ‘Christmas’ hamper for our 30 registered households in distress.
3. We wish to provide a supply of adult nappies to the frail care centre in Langa, enough to see them through the holiday season.
No matter how small your donation, it will go towards spreading joy, sunshine & happiness to some wonderful people.
HELPING HANDS, BANKING DETAILS:
Bank Name: Nedbank
Branch Code: 10129700
Account Name: Helping Hands
Account Number: 1204395675
Type of Account: Current Account
SWIFT CODE: NEDSZAJJ
Thank you kindly, & blessings from the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary as we include our benefactors in our daily prayer in our Shrine at Constantia
Outreach Organiser Tel: 065 520 8837