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Residents of Philippi, Lansdowne, Wynberg and Gugulethu were overwhelmed by the Cape Cobras, Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) and Shoprite South Africa’s gesture to share the warmth by providing 67 blankets, 250 cups of vegetable soup and bread to needy and homeless people in these suburbs on Thursday.

The Cobras and WPCA joined forces with Shoprite South Africa to assist in their winter campaign #actsofwarmth as part of the Mandela Day celebrations.

“It was an overwhelming success and there were several moments which left the eight Cape Cobras-players, the staff at WPCA and the Shoprite-team with a collective lump in the throat,” said Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the WPCA and the Cape Cobras.

“The spontaneous joy with which our outreach was received, touched us.

“The magnitude of the need in some settlements also left an indelible mark on us. We realized that some of the homeless were without shoes or even warm clothing. Making a small difference to the lives of the people is deeply satisfying and gratifying,” Dien added.

“Devoting 67 minutes (and more) of our time to acts of kindness in commemoration of Mandela Day is a heart-warming initiative to help people who are poverty-stricken and in need of kindness and physical support,” added Dien.

The Cape Cobras coach, Paul Adams, the captain, Justin Ontong and senior players including Justin Kemp, Omphile Ramela and Beuran Hendricks, were part of the initiative to hand over blankets, soup and bread on Thursday.

“There was one moment that I won’t forget: Justin Kemp wrapping a blanket around the shoulders of a man who were without a warm jacket. It was moving,” said Jasmiena Davids, marketing manager of the WPCA.

The Cobras were brand ambassadors for the Nelson Mandela Foundation in 2014 and displayed the 46664 on their arms and chests when playing at the Champions League T20 in India.

WPCA and the Cape Cobras have championed and supported several causes benefiting the poor, needy and vulnerable in society in the past.