Just over a fortnight ago Port Elizabeth couple Cornel and Pierre Havenga launched “We Care”, a campaign that was birthed to show passionate, hard-working hospital staff that people care about the stress and exhaustion and personal struggles they endure in this pandemic season.
The campaign enables citizens and organisations to buy R35 vouchers online which are given personally to hospital staff entitling them to a large cappuccino or meal and showing them that somebody cares about them and wants to see them recharged. On the back of the voucher is a space where purchasers can share a message or Scripture.
In an interview on Tuesday Cornel told Gateway News that she runs a coffee shop in St George’s Hospital and her husband runs a coffee shop in Greenacres Hospital.
“We work with healthcare professionals all the time and we see that they are really struggling. We see the tears and we see the joy as well. We asked ourselves: ‘What can we do for them?'”
She said the innovative solution emerged after a friend prayed with her and asked what she could do for the Havengas, as their businesses were adversely affected during this season, resulting in staff sitting at home with no work. Her friend suggested they needed a website but Cornel said she didn’t have the capacity to develop a site with online purchasing.
“But when we woke up the next morning our son had the website ready. It was not something he had done before. He just got it done,” she said.
“Our dream is to put something in each healthworker’s hand. So, this morning we reached out to the physiotherapists at Dora Nginza Hospital. Tomorrow we are going to the physios in Livingstone Hospital,” she said.
At the time I spoke to her she said they had delivered 648 vouchers to hospital staff in the city. They aim to serve everybody from porters to management.
“Its taken our eyes off our own situation. We are able to give joy, My personal journey recently has really with the Father heart of God. I can see how He is showing His Father heart to the city because He cares.”
Cornel said they work with management at different city hospitals to ensure efficient distribution to all involved at a particular hospital. Once they have enough vouchers for a ward or for a particular group of workers, they hand the vouchers over to them — often together with refreshments which have been requested by that group.
She said that it is difficult for people to appreciate just how much the Covid-19 pandemic has affected everybody at hospitals. As there was no text book for dealing with the crisis, people on the ground had to adapt, make decisions under stress, work long and irregular hours and face their fears.
“It’s just great looking into their eye and telling them somebody cares,” she said about their visits to hand out vouchers and treats.
You can show PE hospital workers that you care by purchasing vouchers on the website https://wecarepe.co.za. Because the campaign is online you can participate wherever you are in the world. Cornel said that SA expatriates in New Zealand had purchased 100 vouchers, showing that although someone may be living abroad part of their heart is still in SA. You can visit the campaign’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WeCarePE
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