Souper Troop­ers cel­e­brate an­niver­sary

Cape Argus - - NEWS - Nwabisa Ma­siza STAFF REPORTER nwabisa.ma­[email protected]

HUN­DREDS of home­less peo­ple from Cape Town de­scended on the Ser­vice Din­ing Rooms in Can­ter­bury Street for the monthly #SouperTroo­per So­cial.

But, this time, things were a lit­tle dif­fer­ent.

The Souper Troop­ers, a group of Capeto­ni­ans who go out of their way to make the home­less feel spe­cial by host­ing so­cials once a month, cel­e­brated their sec­ond an­niver­sary yes­ter­day.

Found­ing mem­ber Kerry Hoff­man was in­spired by the turnout for the cel­e­bra­tion of hu­man dig­nity.

“I started this busi­ness with help­ing one per­son and ended up with about 150 peo­ple for the soup kitchen. This to me cre­ated a re­ward­ing and ex­cit­ing feel­ing of how far I have come.”

The event also serves as a party for home­less peo­ple who cel­e­brated birth­days this month, com­plete with the singing of Happy Birth­day and cakes from Charly’s Bak­ery.

One of the Souper Trooper vol­un­teers, Sa­man­tha Grass, also cel­e­brated her 27th birth­day re­cently. In­stead of ask­ing her fam­ily for gifts, she urged them to give her do­na­tions to the home­less.

“I came across Danny Oosthuisen’s story in the Cape Ar­gus’ #TheDig­ni­tyPro­ject, and some­thing in that touched me.

“I was in­spired and thought to my­self: ‘I can do some­thing to help such peo­ple’, so I started by cre­at­ing an event on Face­book as a plat­form for my birth­day do­na­tions, to con­trib­ute to the Souper Troop­ers project.”

She pub­li­cised the event on Face­book, invit­ing her friends via Sam’s Birth­day Wish list to do­nate to­wards the project.

She said her sis­ter, Michelle Grass, has been sup­port­ive. “Michelle is very con­nected so she got do­na­tions from Wool­worths food mar­ket and con­trib­uted that to the peo­ple.”

What made the cel­e­bra­tion more poignant for the Grass sis­ters was that 50 years ago, their fa­ther, Stanford Grass, worked as a vol­un­teer on a feed­ing scheme in the same build­ing.

Stanford was also at the party yes­ter­day: “It is in­deed a huge warm feel­ing for me to be here, it feels un­be­liev­able.

“I can­not be­lieve that I was in this very same build­ing when I was young, and back then it was called the Shoop­ies,” he said.

Stanford said he was thank­ful to his wife for re­mind­ing him about the event as they drove past Can­ter­bury Street yes­ter­day.

While he was not aware of the Souper Troop­ers host­ing their event at the Ser­vice Din­ing Rooms, he was “be­yond happy” that the good work was con­tin­u­ing.

A high­lights of the event was when Mitchells Plain singing sensation Nathan Kennedy en­ter­tained the crowd with a ren­di­tion of the Amy Wine­house hit, Va­lerie, as well as his own com­po­si­tions.

PIC­TURES: ROSS JANSEN

GOOD CAUSE: In cel­e­bra­tion of the Souper Trooper’s sec­ond an­niver­sary for hold­ing monthly so­cials for the home­less, a “Show You Care Day” was held at the Ser­vice Din­ning Rooms. There was plenty of joy, with live en­ter­tain­ment, free hair­cuts and a hot...

HAIR DAY: Home­less peo­ple had their hair cut yes­ter­day.

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