Capetonians' 'excellent hearts' keep donations coming after Valhalla Park fire

2017-12-28 22:19
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SEE: 7 pictures of the Valhalla Park fire

Christmas celebrations turned into disaster when 81 families watched their homes burn in Valhalla Park, Cape Town, on Tuesday morning. Aid organisations are assisting the residents to rebuild their lives.

Cape Town – The people of Cape Town have "excellent hearts", said a tired Ebrahim Smith as he stood on the porch of the Valhalla Park civic centre on Thursday afternoon. 

"I believe most Capetonians don't need to be encouraged to do good. They will give. When there's a fire or natural disasters their hearts will go out and they will assist."

Together with more than twenty volunteers, Smith, from the Mustadafin Foundation, has been helping more than 600 people access food and other necessities since their homes were destroyed in a devastating fire on Tuesday morning. 

On Thursday afternoon, the civic centre was abuzz with activity as Valhalla Park residents – some wearing the same pair of clothes they have been wearing for the past two days –sought out clothing and tried on new shoes as a constant stream of donations was being received.

Smith said it was very difficult to speculate on the quantity of goods that had been received, but said the foundation had been "overwhelmed" by the goodwill of Capetonians. 

"People really do care," he said with a sigh of relief. 

Need for non-perishables for food packs

Woolworths, Shoprite and Pick 'n Pay have all contributed to ongoing humanitarian efforts. 

While donations have been forthcoming, Smith explains that a lot is still needed for the roughly 150 families who "have lost everything". 

"We are particularly in need of non-perishables for food packs, diapers and women's vanity packs."

He encouraged members of the public to drop off donations at the Mustadafin Foundation depot at 30 Turfhall road, Lansdowne, instead of coming to the community. 

The donations are packed in parcels there before being distributed in the community. 

Electronic donations can also be made to the Mustadafin Foundation: 

Bank account - Standard Bank
Account name – Mustadafin Foundation
Account number – 072778377
Branch code – 025909
Reference - Valhalla Park

Handing out clothes to residents at the Valhalla Park civic centre, local ward councillor Jonathan Cupido said his love for the community kept him motivated. 

With help from the City Of Cape Town, Cupido spent most of Thursday distributing housing packs for rebuilding to affected community members. 

"Obviously I am a bit tired, but [I am] a community worker and this is part of my work," explained Cupido who said he had slept little more than five hours a day since the fire. 

He said his wife and children were supportive despite him being absent over the holiday period. 

"My family should be okay," Cupido said, laughing. "They know what I am doing and they are behind me 100%."

Read more on:    cape town  |  fires

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