MOSSEL BAY NEWS - Since Christmas is a time to give, several noteworthy efforts were made to show random kindness.
Some of them made national news and reached the facebook page that has been making waves in terms of positive thinking, #ImStaying.
At PEP Stores in KwaNonqaba, disbelief and utter joy were experienced as 363 clients lay-byed items ahead of Christmas.
This followed an anonymous benefactor paying R337 000 to the shop to pay off people's lay-by items. Manager at the store, Elizma Johannes, recalls the strange phone call from a man sometime during the week after 20 December. "At first I thought it was a joke, but the man was serious and said that he wanted to specifically help people in our area." She referred him to her area manager in George and soon it was a done deal.
"We started calling our clients to come and pick up their lay-by. Upon receiving our phone calls, some just laughed at first, others gasped in disbelief. Some started crying."
Johannes says it was "an incredible experience" as clients came to collect their items. "I have worked for PEP Stores for 13 years, and I have never experienced anything like this. He even added a card to the items, explaining why he did what he did." One of the lines on the card reads: "I know it's up to people to help people."
The cards are signed, "Grateful humanist".
A family, upon visiting a local restaurant on 31 December, decided to join in the festive season challenge presented on the facebook page, #ImStaying, where patrons pay double the amount on their bill, tipping waitron staff 100% instead of the general 10 to 30%.
Taha Versi, owner of the Cork & Plunger restaurant, said upon enquiry this week, that on the particular day, the restaurant had staffing issues. "Some staff members did not arrive for work and we were under a great deal of pressure. As a result, family members and friends at times jumped in to help." Fully realising the challenges of serving a packed restaurant, Versi kept a close eye on patrons with children, ensuring they were seen to.
After running up a bill of R3 232, a family who had never visited the restaurant before and had no idea of the challenges staff were facing, paid R6 464 and marked the bill, #ImStaying.
Bearing the caption, "Best food best service", a photograph of the generous patron hugging Taha, was loaded on social media on the #ImStaying facebook page, which during the festive season reached one million followers. The page was started by Jarette Petzer on 7 September 2019.
"As it turns out, the waiter that served them, had a few bills to settle to the tune of the amount he received as a tip," Versi told the Mossel Bay Advertiser.
A boy aged five showed compassion by handing out party packs to 50 children in Power Town, Klein Brak River. Denzhe Ndou used the R320 that he saved over the year to do his benevolent Christmas shopping. His mother, Ndivhuwo, assisted in exchanging his tin full of copper and silver coins at the bank before they could go shopping.
She commented that she believes her son, like other young children, needed to grow up with the spirit of sharing as opposed to greed.
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