Christmas is seen as the Festive Season, but for many it is a very difficult time of the year. Atlas Copco South Africa takes its responsibility toward the community very seriously and supports numerous initiatives throughout the year and Christmas is certainly no exception. In the spirit of giving, Atlas Copco has pledged its support to three worthy initiatives that are helping to bring a little joy to children this Christmas through the donation of gift boxes.
November 4th 2016 was a hive of activity at Atlas Copco with laptops and stationery making way for Christmas wrapping and a wide assortment of gifts on many a desk. This hustle and bustle was all in support of the Santa Shoebox Project which Atlas Copco is supporting for the third consecutive year. Originating in Cape Town in 2006, this project grew from humble beginnings of 180 to a remarkable 551 979 shoeboxes in only ten years. The success of the project is largely attributed to its personal nature – donors give gifts to children whose names, ages and genders are known. The shoeboxes are distributed to more than 1000 recipient facilities, through more than 60 satellites around South Africa and Namibia. The project is supported by an extensive network of volunteers across South Africa and Namibia, kind-hearted people who give freely of their time, energy and expertise without remuneration. It also relies on the generous backing of various corporate sponsors pledging monetary or pro bono support.
“We consider this project to be such a worthy cause and did not hesitate in pledging 50 shoeboxes to four and five year olds,” says Kathryn Coetzer, Corporate Communications and Academy Manager at Atlas Copco Holdings. Atlas Copco employees representing the business areas of Construction Technique, Compressor Technique, Mining and Rock Excavation Technique, Atlas Copco Holdings as well as Rand Air all reached into their own pockets to buy gifts from a list supplied by the Santa Shoebox Organisation. The shoeboxes are brimming with lots of goodies such as clothing, soap, toothpaste and toys and for that personal touch each Atlas Copco staff member wrapped and decorated the gift boxes themselves.
Atlas Copco employees once again came on board and worked with St Francis Care Centre to purchase 32 gift boxes which they specially wrapped and decorated. Established in 1992 by Fr. Stan Brennan after witnessing many people in South Africa dying of AIDS, abandoned by family and friends, this non–profit, multi–cultural and multi–denominational organisation tends to the sick, poor and vulnerable members of the community. Based on Johannesburg’s East Rand, the facility comprises a care centre for orphaned and abandoned children, a 48-bed Hospice for adults as well as Home Based Care provided by an active team of care helpers.
Atlas Copco also decided to join with Vastfontein Community Transformation, a non-profit faith-based organisation located North of Pretoria, to help brighten Christmas for 18 orphaned children through the donation of gift boxes. Atlas Copco has been supporting with Vastfontein Community Transformation since 2012 through funding and donations and engaging in projects such as the planting of vegetables.
“The fact that we have been on board with the Vastfontein Community and St Francis Care Centre and for four and nine years respectively is indicative of the fact that we commit for the long term,” states Coetzer. “We believe that the only way to make a difference to the lives of people and communities in need is to offer sustainable support and contributions through funding and donations.”
Employee participation in these community projects is also very important for Atlas Copco. “It is not just about funding and donations, it is also about giving of oneself and making time to help others. Preparing the gift boxes gave us time to reflect on the great need out there. Please spare a thought for all those in need during the Season of giving. We sincerely hope that our gift boxes will bring a little Christmas cheer to all the children who receive them,” concludes Coetzer.
A joyful and peaceful Festive Season and Happy Holidays to all from Atlas Copco management and staff.