The Free State MEC for Education, Dr Tate Makgoe, has welcomed the response of various entities that donated much-needed items in aid of hostel learners at the Dr Blok Secondary School after a fire had left them without refuge. Some of the learners lost their belongings to the fire that broke out early in the evening of 11 January. The donations were reportedly made by various businesses, individuals and non-governmental organisations, including churches. Items donated include mattresses, bedding, blankets, toiletries, clothes, food, school uniforms and shoes. The items were given in aid of all 140 learners. These were handed over at the school on Wednesday (30/01), much to the delight of Makgoe.He expressed appreciation to all donors who contributed. Most of the learners at the hostel are from underprivileged households. “As the department we are grateful for the support, which indicates that the Free State community always rallies behind education,” Makgoe said. A commercial radio station helped galvanise support by challenging the community to help the affected learners through donations. Makgoe said the fact that many heeded the call to lend a helping hand, signalled that the Free State was a caring community.