Chance encounter leads to meals for needy
An encounter with an ailing homeless man sparked an initiative that feeds more than 120 people every week.
The organisation Acts of Bravery feeds homeless people, helps get them employment and in the near future hopes to be able to offer them a place to stay, empower them and even get those addicted to drugs clean.
About a year ago at 2.30am, Timothy and Michelle Reddy were at home asleep when their friend Dylan Coert woke them to share a story and an idea.
On his way home from work he had come across a homeless man seemingly in great distress.
Coert called an ambulance and started praying and sharing the word of God with the man.
“He was so moved by the effect his small gesture had on the ill stranger that he immediately shared with us, and early that morning Acts of Bravery was born,” Reddy said.
The next week a group of people under Reddy’s leadership, mostly from The Storehouse Church, went out to the area in Newton Park where Coert helped the man and began feeding homeless people.
“We were moved by his story and wanted to help,” Reddy said.
The group has grown from feeding about 20 people at the park next to Absa in Cape Road every Tuesday evening to about 120 twice a week.
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The meals initially came solely from their pockets, but they are now supplemented with donations. On Thursdays, the Port Elizabeth charity organisation Love Story sponsors meals.
“We are equal in God’s eyes, so we make sure we feed the destitute only food we would eat ourselves,” Reddy said.
Michelle, who cooks meals for the organisation, said there was no set menu. “The four group members in charge of cooking make whatever they feel led to, from curry bunnies and briyani to pap and stew.”
She said they hoped to open a Restoration Centre, including a rehabilitation facility, in the future. “We want a place to keep people off the street, a place they can restore their lives, find direction, learn skills and even be rehabilitated from drug use,” she said.
A smallholding would be the ideal setting for such a place.
– Eleanor Douglas-Meyers