A VOLUNTEER movement is making a difference in the Bay by giving non-profit and charity organisations practical assistance.
Hands On, founded in 2009, is a non-profit organisation that sees people “putting their talents, passion and time to use through volunteer service to others less fortunate than themselves”.
Walmer resident and founder Ingrid Ahlfeldt said the organisation aimed to link people with opportunities to give back to their community through volunteering.
Hands On goes out every Saturday to do practical projects including painting and minor maintenance work.
The painting projects range from murals to paintings that require preparation such as scraping walls down.
Maintenance work includes putting up shelves and fixing cupboards. They have also done projects that involve cleaning, gardening and sorting.
This year, the Hands On group has painted murals at Khaya Cheshire in Walmer, painted two classrooms at JK Zondi Primary School in Zwide and painted two bedrooms and done murals at a foster home in Despatch.
This month, they have been painting murals at a day care centre in Soweto-On-Sea.
Hands On was started when Ahlfeldt and some friends realised that there was a need to create opportunities for people to volunteer and “give back” to the larger community.
“We saw that there were many people who wanted to get involved and help others but that they often did not know what channels to take and who to contact.
“We also saw that there were many organisations in Port Elizabeth that needed an extra helping hand now and again to lighten their load and to make their work more effective,” Ahlfeldt said.
She said the idea of Hands On was to connect these two needs by finding out what practical needs there were in organisations and then turning these needs into opportunities for people to serve.
“We focus on practical maintenance-type projects that don’t require a specific skill set, therefore anyone can get involved”.
As the word spread, they have had more organisations approach them requesting help with projects.
Ahlfeldt is assisted by her husband, Richard.
“He is a great support to me and always encourages me to keep dreaming this dream and to keep serving,” she said.
Hands On is always in need of donations or discounts on paint and other painting materials as well as other hardware materials.
Anyone who would like to volunteer or assist in any way can contact Ahlfeldt on 082-5509036, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website: handsonmovement.org