Love Story Project

Volunteer at an inspirational initiative in Port Elizabeth: help collect and distribute donations, and offer your skills to those in need. 

Minimum Duration: 1 week
Cost: From 200 Euro per week
Minimum Age: 16 years

About

Love Story is the ongoing inspirational story of a group of local residents in Port Elizabeth who decided to do something positive about the poverty and hunger they see on their streets every day.

The organisation has grown from a fledgling idea birthed out of the hearts of a few compassionate individuals; to a multi-faceted organization that runs a great variety of community upliftment projects, educational programs and feeding schemes.

Our teams are made up of volunteers, either full-time or part-time, who are all committed to "filling in the cracks" for communities who need assistance.

Love Story operates every day of the week to provide those in need the care and support they deserve.

Mission of the project

This Christian-based organization was founded in October 2012 and focuses on those who are destitute across the city of Port Elizabeth, and who need immediate help and support.

Programs offered

This diverse organization runs several programs where volunteers can contribute their time and efforts.

Feeding Schemes

For Love Story, there is a cause that inspires and stirs us to action, and that is the cause of the hungry. We´ve seen multitudes of hungry children and adults in our very own communities. They are just like those you read about - the kind that fight for their food, that walk the streets at night begging and the kind that turn to drugs and alcohol as substitutes for food. We are not referring specifically to the homeless but also to those who have homes and families, yet go without food due to unemployment and poverty.

To start with, we have made many meaningful connections with existing crèches and soup kitchens in our neighbouring townships. Many of these places feed up to 100 children and adults every day, but due to lack of funds and support, sometimes only operate on one or two days per week. This means that often people go without food.

These places have kitchens and their own utensils and equipment, all that is needed are ingredients.

Love Story also runs a feeding scheme called ‘CITY FEED’ for over 100 homeless children and adults in the city centre during the week. We started off with one night per week but have now increased it to 3 nights. The hungry crowds increase with every feed. We are desperate for food donations and also for volunteers to help serve these people who have now become our friends.

Distribution

We collect unused clothing and toys for under-privileged children. Usually we will be informed about a community where there is a need and we will package clothing according to specific ages and genders of the children.

We also collect unused items for new mums in the maternity wards. Each hamper is like a ‘baby shower in a bag’, as many of these mums have absolutely nothing to care for their newborns. We collect all baby products such as nappies, wipes, creams, clothing, blankets and soft toys for these hampers.

We also make up gift bags of toys for children in the Paediatric Wards and cosmetic bags for patients in the Burns Unit and other wards. These bags consist of soap, creams, toothbrushes and toothpastes, deodorant and other luxury items.

Community upliftment

Love Story takes on a variety of community upliftment projects that vary in nature. Projects may include rebuilding of shacks / shanties, revamping and cleaning up communities, awareness campaigns or hosting Birthday and Christmas parties for those who are less fortunate.

We also support families in crisis with grocery donations as well as clothing, toys, school uniforms, household items and furniture. Families included in this project are those whose members have undergone some form of abuse, sickness or extreme poverty.

Bags of Hope

We collect second-hand or new handbags filled with necessities, luxury items, bibles and notepads for women at shelters and crisis centres. Most of these women come from abusive backgrounds or have been living on the streets as prostitutes, and even though they are being rehabilitated and cared for, receiving a gift of their own restores a measure of dignity and hope to their lives.

Early Childhood Development (ECD)

We believe that every child deserves equal opportunities in life. Through our ECD Project, we aim to make this possible. Nurturing infants, clothing children and feeding the hungry are just the beginning - in order for children to reach their full potential, an education is vital.

We have thus aligned ourselves with various underprivileged crèches in neighbouring townships, to assist in educating the staff, to provide resources and to set up well-equipped ECD centres that will be havens for children to grow and learn in.

The crèches that we partner with are not government-registered, and for the most part are struggling to survive. This means that, amongst other issues, the teachers are not paid, which obviously negatively affects their motivation and commitment. Alongside the teacher training we have introduced a program called ‘ADOPT A TEACHER’. This project will provide the teachers with a small salary or contribution toward it. The small and irregular income these crèches receive through school fees charged to the parents can then be used solely to feed the children and maintain the crèche.

Creative play days

We run a program in underprivileged crèches and schools whereby children are given the opportunity to learn through dance, drama, song and movement. This helps them express themselves creatively and helps build their self-confidence. We’ve joined hands with a team of talented ladies who conduct the classes on a weekly/monthly basis. Going forward, this will become part of the daily program at the crèches.

See what other volunteers say about this project

Check out reviews from other visitors to Love Story here

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