The AWS in Philippi says they’ve received “thousands of emails” and phone calls from people as far as Australia who want to assist Peter Cedras, 11, and his little brother, Gerry, eight, following their heart-warming story in Daily Voice last week.
People have given the boys boxes of groceries and clothing and even offered to rebuild their home on Groenvlei Farm which was gutted in a fire last month after a candle fell over.
The family does not have running water or electricity and use a fireplace to keep warm.
The boys crept into the hearts of AWS staff when they brought Julia Julie’s sickly pet, Lady, to the vet.
Julia had given them R5 for food, but they took this money, together with a R2 they got from their cousin, to pay for the vet.
Peter had been saving the money to buy his barefoot brother a pair of shoes.
AWS staff gave Gerry a pair of shoes, and now farmers Muriel Volkwyn, Jackie Ruppersberg, her grandson Bjorn Ruppersberg, and Patricia Wright from Ottery Pick * Pay Hyper, have donated school uniforms to the boys, while general manager Gamieda Tim also gave the boys stationery worth R1100.
Jackie says the boys were also treated to a meal at Wimpy, inside PnP Hyper.
It was their first time in a restaurant and they enjoyed a burger and milkshake.
The excited boys also got two small toy cars and LED lights for their home.
AWS spokesperson Allan Perrins says they are overwhelmed by the generosity.
“I have received hundreds of SMSes, WhatsApp messages and emails from as far as New Zealand and Australia,” he says.
“The response from all over South Africa has been extraordinary and unprecedented.
“We have set up a drop-off point for gifts for the family and treats for Lady at our premises situated in Pap- kuilsvlei Road, Philippi, and have already made several trips to deliver donations to the appreciative family.
“Lady is still in our care and doing very well.”
He said it was “unlikely” the boys would ever have to share a cramped bed, or sleep without blankets again.
“It is unlikely they will have to cope with studying by candlelight. It is unlikely they will have to sit on the bare floor and use their hands to enjoy a simple meal,” a grateful Perrins adds.