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Mother delivers toys to orphans

Every year on her birthday, a Somerset West mother delivers a trailer load of toys, clothing, shoes, stationery and treats to the children of the Andrew Murray Children’s Home in Wellington.

Eileen van der Watt has spent her birthday at the home the last seven years. She collects items throughout the year and her home is usually packed to the rafters by the time she makes her delivery.

On Saturday 22 February, she and other volunteers will make the trek to Wellington to bring some joy to the hearts of the little ones.

Van der Watt calls on the Helderberg community to rally behind the cause and donate, and put smiles on the faces of the children.

The annual collection drive was born from, and spurred on by, her mother Yvonne’s experience as an orphan who experienced privation during her time at a children’s home.

“My mother was lucky – she was adopted, but many of the children never find homes of their own. I have a seven-year-old son and, as a mother, this project means a lot to me.”

She also collects donations for animals through her job at EberVet Vetshop at Lion’s Square.

“I’m driven to helping those in need,” she said.

House Andrew Murray is home to close on 160 children, drawn primarily from the Cape Winelands.

About 20% are orphaned, the remainder come from vulnerable homes and range in age from 6 months to 18 years. They attend 14 schools in the region and some spend weekends with foster families.

From her experience of visiting the home each year, Van der Watt says the children are especially fond of receiving sweets, lucky packets and crisps.

But for those running the home it’s the school supplies, shoes and clothing, feminine hygiene products and other necessary toiletries that make the biggest impact.

“We are still in need of donations of second-hand clothing and household items as well as any form of stationery and toiletries, such as roll-on, soap and sanitary towels.”

V Anyone who wishes to donate to the worthy cause can contact Van der Watt on 072 897 5331.

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