Night of 1000 blankets

MAMA Angel was an honoured guest at the Oriental Plaza's Night of a 1000 Blankets.

MAMA Angel was an honoured guest at the Oriental Plaza's Night of a 1000 Blankets.

The project is a bi-annual effort by the Plaza's businesspeople in aid of the community. About R250000 worth of goods, ranging from blanket and clothing to shoes and slippers, were donated to more than a dozen nongovernmental organisations.

Variava Mahomed, chairperson of the Oriental Business Association, said they were taught by the Plaza's founders "to give to the community as charity begins at home".

Sowetan nominated Emthonjeni Awareness Centre at Orange Farm as their beneficiary. Last year's portion went to Rosca Children's Home in Florida.

Emthonjeni operates a place of safety, drop off and daycare centre that looks after vulnerable and orphaned children.

It also runs a feeding scheme for children and the elderly. The seniors' club runs a thriving food garden, bread and cake-making, herb and candle projects.

Emthonjeni director Maria Manoto is winner of the 2007 Sowetan Nation Building Community Builder Award.

"We live in difficult times with destitute people. We cannot sleep wondering how we are going to feed and clothe them. We thank the businesspeople at the Oriental Plaza for their generosity and for making it easier for us," Manoto said.

Veteran community worker and founder of Itlhokomeleng Home for the Aged in Alexandra Marjorie Manganye was in fine spirits at the ceremony. She presented Mahomed and the Plaza operations manager MH Patel with beautiful Father's Day posters.

Manganye thanked the Plaza businesspeople for not forgetting the old people who had grown up in the area before being forcibly moved to Alexandra.

Another beneficiary was the Johannesburg metro police department. It was represented by Inspector Edna Mamonyane, who said the donation would be used when disaster struck. She said the rest would be given to needy women and children.