PORT ELIZABETH - In the spirit of ubuntu and the legacy of one of the world’s most loved icons, Nelson Mandela, Isuzu Motors South Africa (IMSA) is reaching out to the community through a drive-by and drop-off initiative, delivering blankets, mattresses, masks, face shields and sanitisers to various community organisations in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Faced with the novel coronavirus, the needs in the community have changed over the past few months. One of IMSA’s beneficiaries, the Missionvale Care Centre in Port Elizabeth, said it was a priority to educate the community on safe practices such as social distancing, sanitisation and wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “Face masks and shields have become a necessity and with a high unemployment rate in Missionvale, many people cannot afford to buy these items. We are pleased that Isuzu is supporting us with a donation of essential COVID-19 preventative personal protective equipment,” said Linda Oudheusden, Marketing Manager at Missionvale Care Centre.
The significant increase in COVID-19 infections in the city has placed immense pressure on the public hospitals, to this end Isuzu has responded to the call for additional mattresses and blankets at the Dora Nginza Hospital. The mattress and blanket project, which is driven by the non-profit organisation Love Story, supports patients at public hospitals with overnight comfort while they await vacant beds.
Tracey Watson, fundraiser at Love Story, said the rising number of COVID-19 infections has placed great demand on the public hospitals. “The donation of blankets and mattresses will help us provide comfort to patients who are waiting to be treated,” she said.
Furthermore, IMSA donated blankets to the Srimad Sai Rajarajeshwari Trust in Johannesburg, an organisation that works extensively in underprivileged communities.
IMSA Corporate Communications Manager, Gishma Johnson, said that Mandela Day usually provides an opportunity for employees to get involved in community projects. “This year, we had to make alternative arrangements to reach out to our communities. The drive by and drop-off, which will involve some of our employees, is the new norm and we appreciate the opportunity to be able to respond to the vital needs of these organisations during these challenging times,” said Johnson.