We are 2 sleeps away from the official Spring Day and of course, we’ve had a pretty chilly spell here in Cape Town.
It’s been really icy with rain.
In fact this morning it’s all over the news that it’s snowed on Table Mountain.
On Wednesday morning my boyfriend spontaneously sent out a group message to a few mates asking who was keen to get together to gather warm clothes, buy some food and some plastic sheeting to feed the homeless and keep them dry in this weather.
6 of us got together and bought chicken pieces, chips, loaves of bread and polony.
A loaf of bread is R4,99 and a whole stack of polony cost us R34,99.
I cut the bread up, seperated stacks of polony, the chicken and the chips and created meal packets for 50 people.
I was amazed at how quickly everything came together. I guess I always think one needs so much time to prepare everything, but when it comes down to it, it’s just about making a conscious decision and doing it. It took a Whatsapp message in the morning, to bags of food and clothes being packed after work and heading out – as spontaneously as we did.
We all piled up into the car and started driving the streets of Sea Point, Mouille Point and Green Point. It was pretty cold and wet so we weren’t sure if we would find anyone, but we did and within 2 hours we had handed out all the food, warm clothes, shoes and plastic sheets.
It was eye-opening and humbling to see how grateful they are. It is a sobering and heart breaking reality out there.
I’ll admit this: I normally think of people in need being “out there” “far away.” I don’t think that it’s in a 1km radius from where I live.
We literally drove Beach road, Main road and few other roads – roads I drive every.single.day.
They just want to be acknowledged and seen as human beings.
There are so many times when we drive or walk past someone homeless and don’t make eye contact. Why? Because we feel ashamed or guilty that we could probably spare R2 or R5 or that looking at them brings on a sense of guilt that you have so much in comparison or perhaps that the problems you were complaining about seem so trivial when really looking at those less fortunate?
Everyone has a story too.
The one guy told us how he had celebrated his 21st birthday in London and now 6 years later he was on the streets in Cape Town, with epilepsy.
One can go into the psychology behind it and I do find it fascinating as to circumstances, life choices, drugs etc but that’s not what I’m qualified for. I’m also not qualified to judge.
I am writing this not for self gratification, but rather because I am hoping it will inspire you to also be spontaneous and help someone.
I think we often feel that singularly we can’t do anything. Perhaps you don’t have money to donate – trust me, most people don’t.
It’s about looking in your cupboard and finding that warm jersey you don’t wear that often. It’s making an extra sandwich today and keeping it in your car to hand out when you see someone who looks hungry.
It’s making eye contact with that person and even smiling – making them feel like they still belong to humanity.
I hope this encourages you and inspires you.
My boyfriend and I, along with our friends are hoping to do this often. We may not be able to create 50 packets of food again, but the idea is just to help, acknowledge and brighten someones day – even if it is just one person.