There was plenty of excitement at the Willowbridge Mall at the weekend as teams of volunteers gathered there for this year’s The Amazing Grace event.
Run by NPO HewLin Compassion, it’s loosely based on the popular TV series, The Amazing Race, but differs in its intentions and efforts.
This year, 20 teams of four to five members competed in the race, travelling from one organisation to the next, while completing obstacles or rendering services to the participating organisations.
The event on Saturday October 8 was held in support of World Homeless Day on Monday October 10, and HewLin Compassion founder Hewitt de Jager said it was fully booked.
Before the teams got going, Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District (VRCID) social worker Wilma Piek said: “We are supporting HewLin Compassion because we know that they are doing wonderful work and they are assisting us to address the homeless situation in our area.”
MES Cape Town branch manager Lilly Franks spoke about breaking the hand-out mentality.
MES helps homeless people get off the streets and back into society.
“We can always get involved, but we need to do it in a responsible manner and not simply giving money to people on the streets,” she said.
The teams visited Circle of Dreams in Fisantekraal where they did some DIY for the organisation which trains women to become economically independent.
Then they were off to 2nd Chance where they cleaned the stables at the organisation’s horse therapy centre.
At Kin-Culture, in Joostenberg Vlakte, they cut back bush to reduce the risk of wild fires. They gave Kideo Edu Kids Care in Bloekombos a fresh coat of paint and ran activities with the children.
The teams also visited Madulammoho in Scottsdene, Shiloh Foods in Brackenfell, MES Bellville, the Bellville fire station, Elim Night Shelter in Elsies River and Jump Around in Paarden Eiland.
“The aim of the event is to establish a link between communities and organisations and to create awareness around the work of each participating organisation.
“We are dedicated to uplifting the lives of people on the streets. This event helps us to achieve our objectives and to sustain the organisation for a few months,” said Mr De Jager.
“I am overwhelmed by what I see here today and really want to thank the greater Cape Town community for helping to drive this event. We know the worth of this event is entirely based on the teams coming, sacrificing their time, effort and money.”