A group of Johannesburg residents have been feeding around 80 guys and recently got to see the best side of these helpful men.
Johannesburg, South Africa (28 October 2020) – An amazing team in Blairgowrie, co-ordinated by Justine Sweet, and including her husband Joshua Low and their 5-year-old daughter Charlie, housekeepers Olivia and Tina, locals Kelly McGillivray, Octavia Mathebula, Kelly- Ann van der Meer, Samantha Perry, Lauren Rota, Gilbert Terblanche, Nikki, Zakiya Cadear, Mandy Hattingh, Sally Montgomery, Jed Kemery, Gen Nash and Trudi Mitchell, and her children, Kelly and Ross, have been feeding between 60 to 80 guys during the lockdown and beyond. The team have had an army of friends, family and good samaritans, helping them provide a meal to each guy.
Not wanting the men to be accustomed to a handout, the team invited all the guys to join them and friends at Delta Park. They challenged them to give back to the very community that has been helping fill their bellies by cleaning the park of litter and dumped goods.
The guys were told that those who joined in the cleanup would get a special wrist band which would get them meals for another two weeks. Not wanting them to leave empty-handed, the group of incredible volunteers arrived with cold drinks, wholesome lunch and a selection of clothing for each of the men to pick from.
The day was set up to give back to the community and give thanks, but it also helped restore the dignity of these men. All of whom have been left behind during the pandemic. The entire goal of this clean up was to find out what each guy is good at and then working to help find him a job related to that skill.
“I was worried that it would not work, Octavia, Dori and I arrived at 08h00 to set up the soft drinks and table so we could give everyone a name tag and get them to write their names and give us their skill so we could see if we could find work for them.”
“When we arrived we couldn’t see them but someone alerted us to the fact that they were at the top gate. My heart was so happy, there was a crowd of the guys whose faces have become familiar.
They were there to work.
68 guys arrived and we handed out a soft drink and 2 black bags and they all went in different directions to clean up the Delta.
When they came back they had a lunch from Justine and Josh and got to choose some clothes from the boxes, soap, body cream, toothbrushes and shoes.” – Kelly McGillivray.
While most of the guys got to pick at least one item of clothing, there were many that couldn’t due to limited sizes available. Kelly shared the incredible story of their hard work on her Facebook and hopes to inspire people to donate men’s clothing to the cause. Those who can help should leave a comment on the Facebook post (here), and Kelly or one of the amazing community members will reach out.
“We didn’t manage to give everyone clothes so we are looking for donations shoes size 7 to 10 and clothes, mainly small sizes small and medium and pants 28 to 34. If you are able to assist.”
“We made a difference on Sunday and so did they. Thank you to everyone who assists they appreciate it and so do we! They must have done at least 120 bags of litter from the park.”
None of this would have been possible without the support of the community. Take a look at how much they managed to clean in one day!