Social media supports charity efforts

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From the left, back: John de Bruin (DA ward councillor), Cassius Carelse (Heidedal Unemployed Youth Forum), Attie Terblanche (DA ward councillor), Nathan Dunn (the man whose Facebook post helped three girls to receive wheelchairs), André Strydom (Anchor of Hope), and Warren Maasdorp; front: Lorraine Marais and her youngest child, Valencia Haremse (wheelchair recipient), Anna Errens and Jennifer Errens (wheelchair recipient). PHOTO: PULANE CHOANE

Social media is a powerful agent for change on local and global fronts. This is especially true for Jennifer Errens (12), Valencia Marais (17) and Joslyn Haremse, three teens from Heidedal whose lives were changed for the better through one Facebook post.
The luck of these three disabled adolescents changed when Nathan Dunn, a member of the Heidedal community, saw that Errens needed a new wheelchair. As he is in the restoration business, he approached her family to try and fix the wheelchair, but he soon realised that it could not be fixed.
He then quietly, without telling Errens of his plans, took to a local group on Facebook, requesting that someone donate a wheelchair for her. Soon thereafter, with the help of André Strydom, who works for an NGO, called the Anchor of Hope Foundation, Dunn received a brand new wheelchair for Errens.
But the happy tale was far from over as another community member alerted the Facebook group of another young girl who needed a wheelchair, and before they knew it, two more wheel chairs for Marais and Haremse were provided by Anchor of Hope and the Democratic Alliance leadership in the area.
Lorraine Marais, who has to take slow walks with her daughter as they travel to and from school every day, says the wheelchair will help making their journey to the school in Phahameng a bit faster and she really appreciates the goodwill efforts by community members.
Errens, who like Haremse also attends the school in Phahameng, says: “The old chair’s wheels could not turn properly. I tested the new one and it works much better and goes faster too.” Her grandmother and caretaker, Anna Errens, said it is good to be a part of a community that takes care of its people and she is pleased to know that people who have good intentions still exist. – Pulane Choane
pulane@centralmediagroup.co.za