Charity makes public appeal for support

Charmain Lewis founder of the CC Lewis Open Hearts Charity and Volunteer Lucy Solomons are asking the public for donations

Charmain Lewis, of Table View, is appealing to the public to support her charity work.

Ms Lewis, the founder of CC Lewis Open Hearts, a non profit company registered in June, said she wanted to make a difference in her community by giving clothes and food to the less fortunate.

She said she had held weekly charity events in several communities, including Joe Slovo, Dunoon, Milnerton, Atlantis and Table View, in the past 14 years, but after losing her job in March last year because of the pandemic, her husband, Reginald, had become the breadwinner, and he could only support her charity efforts when money allowed.

Mr Lewis is also listed as one of Open Hearts’ directors.

Ms Lewis said ward councillor Dr Joy McCarthy had rebuffed an appeal in July to support her charity efforts, telling her instead to sign up with other more established organisations.

“I feel this is unfair towards me and the communities that some charities fail to help,” said Ms Lewis. She contends that she is helping “forgotten people”, including those from Dunoon and Joe Slovo, whom other charities don’t support. She said she had had many calls from people in Dunoon and Joe Slovo asking her to help feed them and their children.

“I get calls in the middle of the night from people who are hungry and have nowhere to go,” she said.

Ms Lewis said she had been able to feed some street people in Joe Slovo and Dunoon in the past three weeks with the help of Lucy Solomons, a domestic worker who has joined the non-profit company has a volunteer.

Ms Solomons said she felt that she needed to assist Ms Lewis because there were too many people that needed help.

Ms Lewis is appealing for donations of tinned food, fresh vegetables and fruits, clothes and toys.

Dr McCarthy said she had turned Ms Lewis away because she was feeding people from her car’s boot, which was unhygienic and could encourage vagrancy.

She had suggested she reach out to other organisations that were working with the City’s “Give Dignity” campaign.

Dr Zahid Badroodien, mayoral committee member for community services and health, said the City’s social development and early childhood development department had no record of the organisation or an application from it for funding.

Organisations could apply for funding by calling Genevieve Adams at 021 400 1139 or emailing SocialDevelopment@capetown.gov.za

To help the CC Lewis Open Hearts, contact Ms Lewis at 060 665 2857 or email cclewisopenhearts@gmail.com

Charmain Lewis and Lucy Solomons with some of the people they feed