By: Alexander MacDonald

Congregations are actively going the extra mile to ensure their community’s elderly are abundantly cared for.

Dutch Reformed Churches, Helderberg, Strand and Strand North, of the Somerset West and Strand regions are doing their part in making life easier and comfortable for the residents of House Esperanza. These churches’ generosity stretches far and wide in aid of many families in need.

The Helderberg congregation assisted and succoured House Esperanza in countless different ways.  Social workers, of this congregation, voluntarily support these families in any way they are able to. Helderberg church not only provides House Esperanza with one offering collection amount per year but also assists in the payment of children’s school fees for parents who lost their jobs.

The congregation have managed to get a number of doctors involved in their selfless care for others, for these doctors offer their expert skills by assisting these families with surgeries they cannot afford. Christelle Klopper, Badisa Elderly Care Coordinator and Care service provider, shared that one of the nurses has a pterygium (also known as a noncancerous, triangular growth or eye web) growing over the cornea of her eye. Due to the unfathomable generosity of doctors, this nurse has a golden opportunity to receive assistance from an optometrist to remove the growth during this year.

There is a saying that a single act of kindness, no matter how small, creates a ripple effect. Up until today, the Helderberg congregation supports three residents by catering to and fulfilling all their needs and shortcomings. For the past 15 years, an elderly man guarded and protected the vehicles of the church members during regular services. To reward this kind act, the church decided to start helping by gifting him food hampers when he lived on the streets. The church has now secured a place for him at the old age home. Another resident started to assist House Esperanza with IT (Information Technology) tasks. He moved around from room to room, never having accommodation of his own. The church paid for all the shortages and necessities of both residents.

The third resident contracted Alzheimer’s in his late 40’s. The church supported his family for a very long time. An elderly member of the congregation, visited him daily; taking him out to the park while his wife worked to support their family. They have two children; one child in school and the other in university. Life for her became very difficult; he is now in the care of Esperanza with the financial assistance of the Helderberg congregation.

Every month, Strand North congregation donates money, in the amount of R400, to House Esperanza for medication. Every year this church blesses all 144 residents of House Esperanza with Christmas gift bags. Bazaar time, the congregation supplies and manages the dessert table. Once a year Strand North shares one of their offering collections with House Esperanza and House PAM Brink. The reverent of the Strand congregation visits both houses regularly and provide his counselling services.

The contributions and unconditional generosity provided by these churches, has struck an altruistic chord in the hearts of their elderly and community. These great houses are helping senior citizens each and every day with their skills and love for what they do. The families and communities affected by all these good deeds can trust their congregations to be there when they are needed. The communities of Strand and Somerset West are enriching the lives of the elderly and their families with every kind-hearted effort and bountiful assistance. The world would be a magnificent and peaceful place if every community and congregation could go the extra mile to lend that helping hand every day.

“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” – Howard Zinn

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