In response to the food shortages in KwaZulu-Natal brought about by the previous week of violent protests, Stirling Baptist Church is organising a charity drive to collect essential supplies for KZN residents in need.
Tracy de Beer, who is both a member of the church as well as the founder of the NGO Love in Action (LIA), says the idea for the drive was first suggested to her by her daughter-in-law.
“On Thursday [July 15], after all the stuff that happened in Natal, my daughter-in-law got hold of me and said can we do something on our end,” De Beer said.
“That morning, I was on Link FM being interviewed for a completely different reason and I just happened to ask over the airwaves if anyone could give ideas for transport.”
The idea caught on quickly, with members of the congregation as well as the public donating non-perishable food as well as other essential items such as toiletries.
Local businesses also came on board to assist.
“I got hold of Anthony Thompson, who owns the Gonubie SPAR. They have given us a four-ton truck to drive up there and they’re paying for fuel,” said De Beer.
The first shipment left for Durban on Wednesday, and the donated items will be given to a sister church for distribution.
However, De Beer said they weren’t finished.
If need be, we will just keep doing it until things are back to normal.
“Because I was on Link FM, a person who was listening in Pietermaritzburg phoned in as well, so we’ve got another church we’re going to network with next week,” she said.
“The truck will go out again, probably at the end of next week, to the church in Pietermaritzburg.
“If need be, we will just keep doing it until things are back to normal.”
Those looking to donate food or other essential items can drop them off at Container World in Berea or at the LIA warehouse in Gonubie, which is open until 1pm every day.
Cash donations are also welcome.
For more information, contact De Beer on 079-492-9852 or Linda van Heerden on 083-232-0810.
Alternatively, visit the Love in Action and Stirling Baptist Church Facebook pages for updates.