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World Briefing / South Africa

Mandela Day spurs donations

July 19, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

Nelson Mandela's fans celebrated the anti-apartheid icon's 91st birthday by emulating him with good deeds: reading to the blind, distributing blankets to the homeless or refurbishing homes for AIDS orphans.

Mandela had called on people to spend time doing good on the first Mandela Day, which his charity foundations hope will be an annual event.

South Africans collected clothing for the poor, painted schools, planted trees near Mandela's boyhood home, and renovated a building in downtown Johannesburg for people left homeless by a fire.

Mandela stepped down after serving one term as president -- the first black South African to hold the post.

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