Community responds to ‘67 minutes’ call

Sick children were showered with treats, a school for the disabled was beautified with flowers, hungry children received sandwiches made by teenagers – and a Mdantsane family of nine had their house painted by an energetic youth group.

DOING THEIR BIT: Amaqhawekazi, a group of young girls prepare 1 000 ‘love sandwiches’ for the less fortunate youth in East London’s Nompumelelo informal settlement Picture: SISIPHO ZAMXAKA

These are just some of the heart-warming stories the Daily Dispatch heard yesterday as thousands of Eastern Capers devoted 67 minutes or more of their time to help those less fortunate than themselves.

Local Yokel founder Meg Devan said she and members of the BNI Nett Profit group, put together 100 treat packs for children at Frere Hospital’s orthopaedic and surgical wards – as well as the burns unit yesterday.

“We also put helium balloons at the reception desks to create a party vibe,” Devan said.

Vukuhambe Special School in Mdantsane got a facelift thanks to a combined effort of the departments of education, agriculture and correctional services. Officials and members of the public painted classrooms, planted a flower bed and trimmed trees.

Also in Mdantsane, 13 young people from youth organisation, Project Khulisanani, got stuck in to beautify a humble NU1 home in need of maintenance.

“A single father of four daughters and four grandchildren live here and everyone is unemployed, so we decided to help because the paint was peeling off,” former Selbornian Bohlale Buzani, 20, said.

“We got donations of 50 litres of cream and pink paint as well as groceries and second-hand clothes for the family. This will not end with Mandela Day because next month we want to do another house.”

Good Shepherd Mercy ministry did their bit by donating toiletries to patients at hospitals in East London.

Three members from the ministry yesterday handed out 50 parcels to patients at Cecilia Makiwane Hospital in Mdantsane.

The parcels included a face cloth, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap and underarm deodorant which was donated by Mdantsane businesses and distributed to two wards for the elderly at the hospital.

One ministry member, Ntombentsha Gusha, said the day’s success prompted them to try donating parcels on a monthly basis.

“The patients were excited when we handed out the parcels. After we explained why we were handing out the parcels they prayed for us, blessed us and wished us well,” Gusha said.

She added it was the first time the ministry had donated toiletries to the elderly.

“Being directly involved with the handover like this was awesome because we are affecting other people’s lives.

“These patients had nothing and sharing something like this with them means a lot and gives real meaning to giving back,” she said.

They collected 100 parcels but the remaining 50 were left with the hospital’s management to distribute to other patients.

Meanwhile, Chippa United held a blanket drive at Masizakhe Children’s Home in Mdantsane, where they donated books to the public library in support of the Library Legacy Campaign.

Young people were also hard at work in Nompumelelo Township in Beacon Bay where a group of 10 girls aged between 17 and 19, who formed the Amaqhawekazi non-profit organisation, made 1000 sandwiches to distribute to needy children.

“They want to make a difference and help the less fortunate and they also handed out sanitary towels, toothpaste and soap,” mentor Nolundi Kwinana said.

In Chintsa East, 70 volunteers rolled up their sleeves to help out at African Angels school and at the township community learning centre.

“We had volunteers from Merrifield School, the community and local Chintsa East families,” African Angels founder Lou Billett said.

“People washed windows, planted a succulent garden, sorted through 2000 donated books and painted backdrops. It was very special.” — barbarah@dispatch.co.za

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