“There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer”

These words from the acclaimed movie Pearl Harbour, were the inspiration for a touching video by Hartiwood filmmaker Paul Kruger to pay tribute to the volunteers and the sponsors who have been tirelessly feeding destitute families in and around Hartbeespoort for the past four weeks.

Commissioned by Pick n Pay Harties, the video aims to create awareness of the need in the community and the selfless work of volunteers to put food on the tables of those who are not longer able to.

People around the Hartbeespoort Dam have been receiving food from the Harties – Help is on its Way/Hulp is Oppad project since the lockdown started. Soon after the lockdown, Pick n Pay Harties partnered with the project as part of the national Pick n Pay Feed the Nation initiative, making it possible to feed thousands of people every week. The project has become the lifeline of thousands who cannot put food on the table anymore.

Kruger became aware of the project when he met one of these volunteers, Pauli Koch from 5+1 Ministries, while shopping at Pick n Pay and learnt of the great need in the community. Pick n Pay Harties owners, Tienie and Anita Louw asked him to make a video to create awareness of the need in the community and to acknowledge the volunteers who are distributing food to needy households.

“I was touched by the generosity of sponsors and the dedication of these volunteers and thought the community should be made aware of the crisis and these selfless people who have taken it on their shoulders to put food on the tables of those who cannot do it anymore. I watched Pearl Harbour during the lockdown and in a scene after Pearl Harbour was bombed and people did not know where help would come from, a general says: ‘There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer’”. This phrase stuck with me and after I became aware of this feeding project, it all came together. The video is dedicated to these volunteers and to make the community at large aware of the great need in our current situation. Suddenly there are people among us that no longer have an income, are losing their homes, and cannot put food on the table,” Kruger said.

Kruger asked well-known songwriter Machiel Roets to compose the music and lyrics for the video and it was recorded by singer Marlee van der Merwe. The footage for the video was supplied by the volunteers feeding the community.

“One thing I realised the past four weeks is that it is time for everyone to give what they can. We all have too much. It is time to clean house, create a pile that can be donated and travel lighter from now on. However, this video is dedicated to the volunteers who carry the need of others on their shoulders.”

Harties – Help is on its Way/Hulp is Oppad has distributed almost 10 tons of food during the past week alone. “The demand becomes bigger every day and will continue for months after the lockdown is lifted. We’ve had meetings with key role players in the Hartbespoort community with the hope that we can get more businesses involved. A huge thank you to Pick n Pay for their contribution. Thank you to the people of this town for your continued support. We need all the help we can get,” said Charles de Beer of Harties – Help is on its Way/Hulp is Oppad.

To assist, visit the initiative’s Facebook page: Harties – Help is on its Way/Hulp is Oppad or drop off your donations at Pick n Pay Harties.