In honour of the spirit of Mandela Day, The Point Shopping Centre in Sea Point has been collecting basic necessities to contribute to the Haven Night Shelter in Green Point.
The initiative kicked off on Thursday July 12 with staff of The Point and the Haven Night Shelter collecting clothing, food vouchers, and toiletries at the entrance to the shopping centre.
The Haven provides temporary shelter, physical care and social welfare to homeless adults and also helps to reunite them with their families.
The Point spokesperson, Carmin Swart, said they had looked at the need in the community and it was evident where the problem was.
“With winter on our doorstep the need for a local drive that would benefit our entire community was evident,” she said.
By 2pm on the second day of their drive, they had already filled two trolleys with clothing, toiletries and food for the men and women living in the shelter.
“We made an appointment with the general manager Kevin Alexander and it was evident in our first meeting that there was a real need for toiletry and clothing donations.
The Haven Night shelter does such an amazing job with the little they have, however, with donations and resources depleting fast this winter, we saw an opportunity to help,” said Ms Swart.
In addition to the Mandela Day drive, The Point has pledged to have a donation day once a month to keep the community aware and engaged in their ongoing efforts to assist the shelter.
Deon Hayworth who has benefited from the services offered by the Haven and now volunteers at the shelter, said he appreciated the initiative.
“I’ve lived in the streets before and I’m now on Phase 2 (moved out of the shelter and now independent). I can’t encourage people enough to make the most of their stay at the shelter because the conditions that one lives under, doesn’t define you or your future.
“It has been a phenomenal experience so far and people have opened their cupboards, some opened their wallets and some people purchased some of the passports booklets, we could never thank them enough for this,” said Mr Hayworth.
The CEO of the Haven Night Shelter, Hassan Khan, added: “This couldn’t have happened at a better time.
“We appreciate The Point’s assistance this winter and this will not only make a difference to the shelter in Green Point, but to most of our shelters because we’re all about sharing,” said Mr Khan.
Ms Swart called the community to “make a difference and continue the Madiba legacy by having a giving spirit”.