WATCH: Boy, 10, helps Gauteng waste picker push trolley: 'Wow, that was heavy, Mom'

2019-08-02 17:30
James Hefer helps a homeless man to push his trolley. (Screengrab)

James Hefer helps a homeless man to push his trolley. (Screengrab)

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You’re never too young or small to make a difference. That’s the lesson a 10-year-old boy demonstrated when he recently helped a homeless man.

It was a day like any other in Craighall Park, Johannesburg. Dale Hefer, 53, was driving her son, James, to school when they came across a homeless man struggling to push his trolley of recyclables up a hill. 

Johannesburg is well known for its "trolley men" – homeless people who earn a living by picking out recyclable items from the garbage and taking them to recycling depots.

'I feel so incredibly proud'

When James saw the man struggling with his heavy load, he asked his mom to stop so he could help.

"I feel so incredibly proud!" Dale tells YOU. "When he got back in the car and said, ‘Wow, that was heavy, Mom’, I was nearly in tears."

Though touched, she’s familiar with her son’s kind nature. "I wasn’t surprised at all. Kindness is very much in his character," Dale says.

Dale is a single parent and has taught James and his twin sister, Grace, to help whenever they can.

James Hefer and Dale Hefer

James Hefer with his mother Dale Hefer. (Photo: Supplied)

James offered the homeless man R50 but he wouldn’t take it. Dale was ready for this eventuality, though.

"We always carry blankets along in the car to give to people [in need]. James took the blanket and he gave it to the man, which he gladly accepted. They shook hands and the man was on his way."

James dreams of becoming a professional rugby player and he’s already in his school’s first rugby team.

He hopes his good deed will be an inspiration to his classmates, as well as South Africans in general.

Did you know? 

Informal recyclers are responsible for gathering up to 90% of consumers’ recyclable packaging and they collectively save municipalities around R750m a year in landfill airspace, according to data from the Department of Environmental Affairs in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology.



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