A Cape Town comedian will be putting his jokes aside as he lives rough for three days in a bid to collect warm clothes for the homeless ahead of winter.
Devon Saunders, best known as DevDonDidIt, will swop his comforter and hot chocolate for a thin mattress and sleeping bag as he spends three days on the roof of a Plumstead building. His aim is to raise awareness of the realities facing those forced to sleep without shelter.
Saunders – along with organisation Faith, Hope and Charity – launched their campaign #WeDidIt on Thursday.
Their target is to collect 5 000 items of clothing and blankets to be distributed to organisations who do not benefit from big sponsorships.
And, he joked, it would give you the perfect reason to get rid of your girlfriend’s Ugg boots.
“It’s about remembering that before we are black or white, Christian or Muslim, we are human,” Saunders said. “Our instinct is to care for each other. Here is a chance to do it.”
The beneficiaries would also be at the drop off point at 117 Victoria Road to cheer on and thank those who will contribute to giving them a warmer winter.
“In my interaction with them, most have indicated that their biggest challenge in the cold months is finding warmth and a place to sleep. Like everyone else, they want a good night’s rest.
“So while we sip our hot chocolate and lay under the covers complaining about the cold, out there someone would be grateful for what we have.”
His attempt at sleeping under the stars could not come at a worse time – the Western Cape Disaster Management Centre said it had received a special advisory from the South African Weather Services indicating an intense cold front had hit the province on Thursday night which might last the entire weekend.
Heavy rainfall, which may lead to flooding, and gale force winds have been forecast.
But the sleep-out would go ahead, Saunders promised.
Those who popped by would receive a ‘koesiester’ and coffee, while there would be face painting for children and a photobooth to capture the festivities.
Saunders also hoped to give a voice to the homeless.
“Some of them will be given an opportunity to address the people who come out to give them an idea of what life is like for them. It’s important that those who give the donations also know who some of the recipients are,” Saunders said.
The campaign takes place this weekend from April 28 – 30.