The St Francis Disaster Volunteer Group along with St Fr Francis United Church and Rotary St Francis continues their incredible work in assisting those in our Sea Vista township still affected by being unable to earn an income owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Below is an update on the status quo for there remain many who still cannot return to work and still rely on these food parcels.
“More than 2 months ago, we started with a soap drive and soap distribution in Sea Vista. Little did we know then that this would grow into the largest humanitarian project Sea Vista has ever seen!
With donations from the good people who love our greater St Francis area, as well as their community, and in a wonderfully co-operative effort together with the St Francis United Church and Rotary St Francis, more than R1,7 million has been raised to date, enabling the packing and distribution of more than 5 500 parcels over the course of 2 months. We have completed 3 full rounds of deliveries to the households most affected by unemployment during Covid-19. We have also repeatedly delivered to the various soup kitchens. We are also immensely thankful for the assistance of SUPERSPAR Village Square, fruit farmers, Balobi Fish Market and the Ferrey brothers in Port Elizabeth who raised funds and donated a massive 9 tons (18 pallets) of vanilla maize porridge to our cause. We are distributing this with each parcel. Smhart Security have also accompanied us without fail.
As we enter Level 3 of the government’s risk adjusted strategy, we recognise that many workers may now return to work. It is pleasing to see construction workers, domestic workers, gardeners and services get back to it! And together we also recognise that its time to reassess the food parcel project in Level 3.
We started with a database of 1879 households and anticipate that this should now drastically reduce. BUT ITS IMPORTANT THAT WE DON’T LOSE SIGHT OF THOSE WHO REMAIN UNEMPLOYED AND WITHOUT AN INCOME (health & beauty, hairdressers, accommodation, restaurants, sport, tourism etc). And so we have taken this week and next week to work with our volunteers on the ground in Sea Vista to reassess the database and start a new listing, recognising those who still remain without income and work during Level 3.
We also invite businesses to e-mail us (email@example.com) if your local business still can’t open, and you have staff who remain unemployed. This is only for staff living in Sea Vista, St Francis Bay or Cape St Francis. Please include your business name, staff listing (name and surname), as well as their address.
We will continue for as long as we have donations to do so and are also aware that, according to authorities, the number of positive cases may still drastically increase. So we could also find ourselves increasing the supply of food parcels again. Therefore we appreciate the on-going donations received by our various benefactors. Our current financial forecast shows that we should have funds to carry us through 20 July when we will run out, if no further donations are received. (A reminder that there are no administrative, packing, transport or other fees attached to this drive … it all goes to food).
For now, our next food parcel delivery will be during the week of 15 June 2020.
Together with the Church and Rotary, we’d like to thank the numerous volunteers who have given their time (and muscle!) to this project thus far. It’s also pleasing to see that a number of them are now allowed to return to work.
We remain steadfast in our mission to assist the Sea Vista Community … watch this space for more incredible photos and videos of this God-sent project.