Small acts of generosity go a long way and the tougher times brought by the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in one non-profit organisation (NPO), Ladles of Love, feeding those who need it the most during the lockdown.
Founder, Danny Diliberto could not have imagined his volunteer-run soup kitchen based in Cape Town, would be even more essential after President Cyril Ramaphosa initiated the lockdown in response to Covid-19.
Campaign director Alison McCutcheon speaking at the official launch of Ladles of Love sandwich and essentials drive in Johannesburg on Thursday said they knew as an organisation they had to do something in response.
Looking back at their drive on Nelson Mandela Day, they broke the world record after making 304,000 sandwiches in one hour and millions during a short period of time.
The NPO decided to partner with Sun International and Sasko to reach more provinces such as Gauteng and much more households. The decision to launch in Johannesburg was made just a month ago after their success along the coast. The organisation now has opened up distribution points and hubs in Pretoria, Port Elizabeth and hopes to call Sandton home soon too.
The goal is to reach as many areas across the country as possible.
“The NPOs who we donate to or distribute these sandwiches or other goods has to be registered and organised. We measure our social impact, everything that comes in or out the door we track. So that we can use that information to know where all our sandwiches are exactly going to which NPO, that is important to us.”
The next ambition for Ladles of Love is job creation. There has been a huge drive by many corporations to be surrounded by sustainable gardens or fund them.
“We are looking into investing for sustainability, we are asking for donations. Half of the money goes into food and the other half is going into social entrepreneurs in food.”
With many social ills, some people are more focused on their own issues and lending a helping hand can seem a lot when a person thinks they do not have enough to give back.
McCutcheon says the biggest reward of volunteering or donating is that it makes you feel good.
“I am from the events business, so there has been no work, I know how it feels. So I just told myself let me work with Ladles of Love since I have worked with them before. I can tell you when you do something that is worthwhile it makes you feel wonderful. Even though there are no jobs right now when you volunteer it will make you feel better.”
The art of giving back can give purpose, hope, inspiration and networking with people who could possibly be your next employer or business partner.
“They say in the face of adversity comes the greatest activity.”
Volunteers can easily make their sandwiches at home or at one of the hubs close to them. To find out more, visit Ladles of Love website