Friday, August 22, 2014

Helping Hands, Downtown Johannesburg

Helping Hands is a program in which church leaders and members get together to provide service and disaster relief to those in need.  Members of wards and branches throughout the world provide time, labor and materials to help improve the community or to give aide to the needy. Helping Hands groups often respond quickly to disasters or other community needs, but at least once a year, there is an organized effort throughout church units to find a planned way to serve. Projects might benefit parks, schools, recreational areas or wherever a need exists. This year, two of the wards that we work with, Johannesburg 1 and Johannesburg 2, combined their efforts to thoroughly clean an “old age home” or what we might call a rest home. We joined them in the project and spent a morning cleaning walls, floors, beds, bathrooms, or anything else that came into our path. While we cleaned, ward members had a chance to talk to and sing for the residents. As you can see from the pictures, it is a very old rest home in a very old part of Johannesburg. The pictures in the bottom are to show the neighborhood where the facility was located. I would guess that this place was government run; in any case, there didn't appear to be many resources. From the water I'm pouring, you can see that the cleaning was needed and the bathroom we're cleaning there is a place you would never want to need. The residents were smiling when the members left, but so were the members. Service is an important teaching for Church members, and the project benefitted the workers at least much as the recipients. 

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