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South African winters can be bitterly cold with temperatures often dropping to below zero. Understanding the critical need for warmth at this time, Atlas Copco employees gathered at the Vita Nova Centre on 15 July 2018 to donate 45 blankets as well as a selection of gifts. And in the true spirit of Mandela Day, Atlas Copco also supported Vita Nova’s Mandela Walk.
“It is important for us not to forget those who are unable to afford what comes easy to others,” says Bongani Ndlovu, who is the Corporate Social Responsibility Manager and Executive Assistant at Atlas Copco Industrial South Africa. “This is our way of giving back to the community and spreading kindness and assistance to those less fortunate.”
Atlas Copco has been supporting Vita Nova for eleven years and Bongani explains that the Centre’s needs change every year. “The Centre informs us of what their most urgent requirements are. Ensuring that the residents are kept warm was one of the top priorities this year so we ran a blanket drive on their behalf.”
Established over 41 years ago, the Vita Nova Centre has grown from 45 to 122 disabled residents between the ages 1 to 71. Vita Nova mostly caters for individuals living disabilities such as blindness, deafness, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, autism and HIV/AIDS. Striving to ensure that their special needs are fulfilled requires a lot of time and funding.
Atlas Copco generously sponsored the blankets along with various promotional items to the Vita Nova Sparrow Hostel which provides a sanctuary for children between the ages of three and five. The day brimmed with fun-filled activities with the “best dressed” competition one of the day’s many highlights. Atlas Copco sponsored prizes for the best dressed family, the best dressed boy and girl and even for the best dressed dog!
Atlas Copco employees enjoyed spending time interacting with the residents and staff and gained a better understanding of the many different problems and challenges they face. “The Atlas Copco team truly came together and ensured a successful event. With the gift of giving resonating amongst everyone, it is our aim to continue with many more such rewarding initiatives,” concludes Bongani.
“There are truly not enough words to express our gratitude to Atlas Copco and, on behalf of all the staff at Vita Nova, all I can say is thank you,” says Michelle Immelman, Director at Vita Nova. “The love, compassion and generosity shown by the Atlas Copco team in spending time with our residents and handing out the blankets was amazing and we were truly overwhelmed and humbled. Judging from all the smiles and laughter great fun was also had on the Mandela Walk which raised an impressive R121 786,00! We look forward to continuing a long and fruitful relationship with Atlas Copco.”