As temperatures continue to plummet, Kelston Isuzu in Makhanda is driving a Winter Warmers initiative to support the less fortunate in the community.
For the duration of winter, the motor vehicle dealership is collecting warm clothing and blankets for the Home of Joy, an informal establishment that looks after homeless children ranging from new-born babies to students.
Sales manager Duifie Nieuwoudt said the bitterly cold winters in the region drove the initiative.
“We really feel for those who may have a hard time during the winters in Makhanda because it does get very cold at this time.
“We, therefore, would like to appeal to the citizens of Makhanda to help us make a difference by donating clothes and blankets and dropping it off at our premises in Hill Street.”
From there, explained Nieuwoudt, the items would be distributed to the Home of Joy.
The Makhanda safe haven is run by Nomalungelo Margaret Ngcangca, fondly known as “Mama Margaret”.
She currently provides food and shelter for 33 people at her home in Joza township and relies on the help of others to make them as comfortable as possible.
Nieuwoudt said they would accept anything as long as it would provide warmth.
“While our plan is to support Home of Joy and ‘Mama Margaret’, we also aim to help other shelters if we receive enough donations.
“We haven’t set ourselves any specific targets; we just want to keep as many children as we can warm at this time.”
He added that the dealership wanted to make it an annual project as Kelston followed a policy of supporting those in need in its various communities.
“We have previously assisted with food collections for the ACE Foundation, which supports healthcare in local and rural communities, as well as the ACVV old-age home in Makhanda.
“In a small place such as Makhanda it is essential to get behind the local community. If we don’t engage with each other, the city will be lost.”
Kelston Isuzu Grahamstown is one of 21 dealerships in the group that service customers in the passenger, light commercial and luxury vehicle markets across the Eastern Cape.
“We cover most of the areas around Makhanda, such as Nanaga, Alexandria, Port Alfred and Bathurst,” said Nieuwoudt.
“Also the rural communities and towns in the northern interior, including Fort Beaufort, Adelaide, Bedford and Somerset East.”