Making a difference

2019-04-30 06:01
Lester Callis’s donations are collected by Vasco Vigis. PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

Lester Callis’s donations are collected by Vasco Vigis. PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

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The community initiative, Let’s Help Each Other Ocean View held their second annual food collection drive, One Can Make a Difference, to show that the community can help its own people.

The food collection drive was held last Saturday in Ocean View.

Members of Let’s Help Each Other, the Ocean View community and residents from surrounding communities came together to collect or donate non-perishable foods that would be distributed to people in need.

The group was formed by Ocean View residents in September 2017 in order to provide help to the community from the inside.

Vasco Vigis, member of the initiative explains: “What we want is to encourage people to not do things alone but to involve the community. Why do we need to call outside help? Let’s work together to uplift our own communities.”

They began offering their help in the form of a “soup kitchen” where they served hearty meals to the impoverished and needy, which was followed by clothing drives and community clean-up events.

“At the clothing drives we get the community to donate their old clothes and we don’t sell them, we give them to the destitute.”

With giving back to the needy being the main aim for all their events, Vigis says the people who will receive the collection items from the can drive are residents who need the help as identified by community leader Jarrie Jacobs.

Last year’s drive saw the collection of about 200 parcels and the goal was to collect at least 100. Parcels were made up of canned peas, sweetcorn, beans, as well as bags of pasta and rice.

This year they were able to collect enough items to make about 180 food parcels, with the help of C Hoedemaker & Son rubble removal specialists who loaned their truck to the group for the collection.

Local supermarket owner, Safoodien Sonday also played his part in the drive, allowing the group to buy non-perishables from his store at reduced prices, with money donated from various companies.

He encouraged them to take as much as they needed and assured the group that he would take on the extra costs as his charitable donation.

A resident who made a generous offering, Andrew Sanders says: “It’s a good initiative and it’s long overdue. There are people who are less privileged than us and we need to help them.”

Another resident who contributed a bag of non-perishables, Lester Callis says: “We need to uplift others. This is minute and it’s just the start of their work. What they (Let’s Help Each Other) are doing is needed here. Often we look at ourselves and complain about our circumstances, but if we look in our community we can see people who are worse off than us. We need to help them.”

The group also collected monetary donations during the drive which they will use to buy paint to repaint the graveyard signage.

“We want to paint over the wall which has been tagged with gang signs and graffiti,” Vigis says.

He also commends the numerous businesses and residents who played their part. “Without the Kommetjie, Ocean View and Blue Water communities, and all the businesses who contributed money and food cans, this would not have been possible.”

For the rest of the year the group will continue to host charitable drives and events, and they also plan to register as an NPO in order to expand the scope of their work.

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