This year’s International Day of MERCY for 2014 was a huge success here in London, as we were able to serve 3 different organizations in the East region of London. This area is less developed with many challenges faced by young people and the multicultural communities as a whole. The projects were comprised of food drives, cleaning, gardening, and helping out children in an innovative community garden.
Project #1: Food Drive, Barking Foodbank
It was a privilege to conduct a food drive for Barking Foodbank, as they provide food to those that have little to no income in our community. The Ambassadors divided themselves among 3 groups. The first at the entrance of ASDA- greeting customers and informing them about the food bank project, the second group were positioned at the checkout tills, offering to pack customers food for a donation. The third at the food trolley’s outside the store to collect any donated food.
Project # 2: Play, Sow, Grow
“Play, Sow, Grow” gives children the chance to sow and grow their own vegetables, care for their flock of excitable chickens, and have fun in the garden or occasionally indoors. During the day they welcome local families for various activities – everything from get fit classes to English lessons. It was a fantastic day as the Ambassadors, their children, and the people that use the centre joined together to paint a mural, paint a fence, and set up a trampoline.
The centre treated us to a beautiful meal of authentic Indian curry prepared by the Muslim ladies to work in the centre. Perhaps one of the most profound blessings of the day was to find that fellow MERCY Ambassador Clint Fitten regularly attends the centre to do voluntary work and courses there. Clint joined another artist Michael Kashora to paint a mural based on Clint’s personal cartoon concept which he affectionately titles “Squidgy Planet.”
Clint is very comfortable to talk about his learning disability and has found a vehicle to communicate through the stories he has written and the ‘Squidgeons’ who now furnish the mural of Play, Sow, and Grow for dozens of kids from the community to enjoy.
The centre staff were so appreciative and the local children so enthusiastic in taking part in all the work.
Project # 3: Focus E15 (Newham) – East Thames Group
Brimstone House, as it is known to the staffs, stands as a supportive housing for people. The largest foyer in Europe, It was opened in 1996 with the support of East Thames Housing Groups, Stratford City Challenge, and the Housing Corporation to provide affordable housing and training for young people in Stratford. The Ambassad
After their projects the Ambassadors gathered together and they shared snacks together shared moving stories from the day that truly embodied what MERCY stands for. Here are few quotes from the Ambassadors and the people that we helped that day:
Krista: “It was really great to help beautify the community. Very pleased to have taken part”
Clark: “It was a fantastic day; it was really heartfelt to be able to provide for young adolescents that have come from broken homes. Aiding them and providing for them was important.”
Tommy (E15 Focus): “It’s amazing to see people turning up this morning at 10 am, ready to work with boots and everything, and cloves and immediately hit the ground running, which was amazing things, all very happy – talking, singing acting nicely.
We all appreciate what they are doing this morning. This is actually what one of the things we always want and recommend here at E15. And thank you for doing this!”
On behalf of the London MERCY Leadership, I would like sincerely express my gratitude to all the MERCY Ambassadors who served tirelessly and continue to help make MERCYWORLDWIDE what it is.
Director – London