PICS: Joy and smiles as Joburg's elderly are surprised with winter blankets

2016-06-06 07:32
67 blankets for Mandela Day handed  out blankets to residents of Vrede Park near Brixton, Johannesburg (Mpho Raborife, News24)

67 blankets for Mandela Day handed out blankets to residents of Vrede Park near Brixton, Johannesburg (Mpho Raborife, News24)

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WATCH: Dire conditions at Joburg old age home

2016-03-02 09:09

Residents at a Johannesburg old age home endure power cuts, toilets that don't flush and unsanitary living conditions. Watch.WATCH

Johannesburg - Some of Johannesburg's neediest pensioners were spoilt when they were treated to a warm hearty meal and given free blankets to keep them warm for the winter, thanks to News24 readers.

Residents from old age homes in Vrede Park near Brixton in Johannesburg came out in their numbers on Friday to receive a truck full of 500 blankets donated to them by the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day drive.

Jaco Lotter, who delivered the blankets of behalf of the organisation, said a colleague of his had read a News24 article about a robbery at Radio Cottage Old Age Home resident Lynette Beck's flat. The robbers made off with her blankets and curtains.

The soft-spoken 63-year-old had gone to visit her daughter and discovered she had been robbed upon her return.

On Friday morning, Lotter arrived in the area accompanied by a large green truck which immediately caught the eye of the locals.

Residents from the five old age homes in the area approached the truck with eager faces, keen to see what was going on.

"The old people in Radio Cottage really need these blankets, that's why we came out here today to keep them warm during the winter and all the other winters to come."

He said the blankets were made with love by people in jail, old age homes and schools across the country.

The organisation collected more than 15 000 blankets during its 2015 drive and broke the Guinness World Record for the "The Largest Crochet Blanket in the World" measuring 17 188 square metres at a park across from the Drakenstein Prison in the Western Cape.

"[The blankets are] made by people from all over South Africa... We make blankets or give blankets to people who don't have."

(Mpho Raborife, News24)

Sixty-four-year old amputee Tommy Cairns expressed his gratitude and asked Lotter to thank the inmate who had made the blanket he had received, after seeing the prisoner's name tag on the blanket.

"I've been in jail and I know how it feels to be in the four corners."

The avid motorcyclist said he had moved to the old age home a few years ago to settle down after spending most of his prime years travelling on his motorbike. An accident left him with only one leg and he almost lost his right arm, he said.

"I am grateful for the blanket, I want to say thank you... because we can't afford to go buy stuff like this. Now I can sleep quite nice and warm."

(Iavan Pijoos, News24)

A reserved Poppy Haffajee, who is also a Radio Cottage resident, was extremely thankful while tucking her blanket under her arm as she made her way back to her unit.

"I feel appreciated and very thankful to those involved in taking care of the elderly. We wish them all the best for the future and hope they have a lot of success in their support for the less fortunate," Haffajee said.

On March 3, News24 reported on the dire living conditions at the old age home. The property, which belongs to the City of Johannesburg, houses 48 pensioners in a troubled neighbourhood a few kilometres from a bottle store and a tavern.

A number of residents said they had been broken into on many occasions and suspected the culprits were the unemployed youths who were addicted to drugs.

Among the other problems at the home, was the lack of maintenance. Many of the residents had to endure power cuts, toilets that did not flush, and plugs that did not work.

(Iavan Pijoos, News24)

(Mpho Raborife, News24)

(Mpho Raborife, News24)

(Mpho Raborife, News24)

(Iavan Pijoos, News24)

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  good news

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