Capricorn elders feed the community

2019-09-10 06:00
Minnie and Daniël Hoorn feed the community three times a week. PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

Minnie and Daniël Hoorn feed the community three times a week. PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

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Well-known in their community for the selfless work they do, Minnie Hoorn (71) and her husband Daniël (80), are part of the top three finalists of the Community Champions Elders Awards in the 70 – 80-year-old category – but the recognition is not what they do it for.

The awards are presented by People’s Post, TygerBurger and City Vision in partnership with Spec-Savers.

For more than 20 years, since retiring from working at a petrol filling station in Bergvliet, Daniël has been feeding the needs of the community by providing the residents with food and spiritual nourishment. He began the feeding with his wife who passed on, Marie.

“It is in my nature to help wherever I can. I didn’t understand, but I saw my grandparents and my father doing the same thing while I was growing up. Then when I gave myself to the Lord, I saw that giving was my calling,” Daniël explains.

Minnie says she had always been known in the community as someone who was willing to give to the needy, with residents often knocking on her door for any food she could spare. “I never understood why people always came to knock on my door for a piece of bread, even when I was struggling, but I could always give them something and share. When Daniël’s wife passed on (in 2007), he came to me and told me that God told him to marry me,” Minnie says.

While she was hesitant at first, she says she realised that they were meant to be together and meant to help the community as husband and wife.

The pair began working together to feed the community about 12 years ago and were then married to each other just one year later. They do mass feedings from their community centre, the Help to Care Centre, which is also where they make the food every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

The soup kitchen began with them using their own pension to buy vegetables for the soups, but later they began receiving small donations from Woolworths and Pick n Pay, which sometimes includes meat and bread in addition to vegetables.

“We feed people from all the areas: Lavender Hill, Hillview and Vrygrond. Sometimes we’ll have nothing to give. I’ll be here and say ‘Where are we going to get the food to feed?’ Then something will always come through by God’s grace. We’ll just manage to get donations so we can make the food,” says Minnie.

“Bianca (a generous Seawinds resident) gives us donations on a Tuesday,” she adds.

With Daniël formerly belonging to a nearby church, he is well respected and people often still seek him for spiritual guidance.

Minnie explains: “I must say there are always people who come here for prayers, and they always come back to say thank you that God’s prayers have come through for them.”

Teresa Jones, who runs the children’s care centre called Shelter of Hope, congratulated the pair on their nomination and expressed her gratitude for the work they do for her organisation, and the greater community. “These two people are my spiritual parents. When we’re having events, all we have to do is pick up the phone and tell them what we’re doing for the children and they are always willing to give – always! Whether they have to make themselves short, they never say no. We are very proud of you Pastor Daniël and Sister Minnie.”

The three women who work with the Hoorn’s to make the food are Zelda Arendsa, Alexia Smith and Kate Phiri, who also assist the community out of the kindness of their hearts, on a volunteer basis.

Alexia says more than 250 people make their way to the centre for food every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.V For more information, contact Daniël or Minnie on 021 702 6107 or email help2carecentre@gmail.com.

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