Generous donors provide Gladys and Eric with hope

Shaanaaz de Jager

A GOOD Samaritan, who is known for helping animals in impoverished areas, had donors from near and far digging deep into their pockets to help a couple move into a small wooden Wendy house.

Gladys Sam and her life partner, Eric Davids, were living in appalling conditions at Erica Dean squatter camp in Greenbushes, on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth, until Mike Kerr, chairman of Animal Outreaches, met them about three weeks ago.

Kerr e-mailed various people, and managed to raise R13500 within eight days.

“Donations were received from residents in Port Elizabeth and from as far as Graaff-Reinet, Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg,” he said.

Kerr, who visits the area with volunteers every six weeks, said he came across Sam and Davids after paying a visit to their kitten.

He said Sam used to crawl 30m to the outside toilet if she was alone.

“After we saw the living conditions we had to help her.

“When you work with animals you don’t only see the needs of the animal, but also see the suffering of the people as well.”

Kerr, who started Animal Outreaches four years ago, was recognised for his selfless efforts and won the prestigious Eco Angel Award by Enviropaedia – an online encyclopaedia initiative – in Cape Town last year.

Kerr and his volunteers look after animals in 20 townships and 10 squatter camps.

He said they came to treat the dogs in Erica Dean squatter camp about three weeks ago and came across Sam, a 67year-old, who had a stroke many years ago, according to her younger sister, Thandeka Jacob.

Sam has speech impairment and is unable to care for herself.

Even with her difficulty in speaking, she managed to say “how blessed” she is and how “thankful” she is for the donated Wendy house.

“It is very warm inside,” she said.

ýTo help Animal Outreaches e-mail

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