Homeless people in Bellville went on a Christmas shopping spree on Tuesday and it did not cost them a cent.
For the third year in a row, the Greater Tygerberg Partnership held their annual Street Shop event on the corner of Voortrekker and Durban Roads, until 1pm.
Organiser Monique Muller, 27, from Stellenbosch says the event is held to give dignity to the homeless.
“We work closely with non-profit organisations and night shelters in the area and thought what greater way to give dignity to the homeless than for them to have the opportunity to shop for themselves, for what they want and need, and not just accept things (from people),” Monique says.
PICK N CHOOSE: Man looking through clothing
Mense were queueing for their chance to take their pick of the mountains of clothing and shoes available, all neatly organised by size.
Monique says they were overwhelmed by the donations which poured in and went well over their target.
“A month before the pop-up shop, we usually have drop-off points where people can donate items of clothes and shoes.
“Our aim was to collect at least 1000kg of clothes but the response was so overwhelming that we managed to collect 1 950kg of clothing and over 300 pairs of shoes,” she says.
INITIATIVE: The Street Store
Shoppers get signed up upon entry on the one end of the street, and they can take four items of their choice.
Most of the homeless were too shy to speak to the media, but an excited Patrick Isaacs, 50, could not thank the volunteers enough as he shopped for his wife, who couldn’t be there.
“I came here to get some special items for my wife: a skirt, a jersey and lekker toppies. I feel extremely happy for this. This type of shop makes me feel great,” Patrick said.
Monique says the more donations they receive, the more people they can help.
DIGNITY: Organiser of the annual event Monique Muller.
“Seeing the joy and happiness on the faces of many people who are not as privileged as us is a great feeling and we are so grateful for all donations,” she says.
“If people would like to donate anything, they can contact the Greater Tygerberg Partnership and we can direct the donations to NGOs and the night shelters.”
If you would like to assist, call 021 823 6713.