Wakefields shares Christmas with the children at Focus on Ithemba
Category Community Upliftment
Over eighty children, more than eighty boxes, and all Wakefields’ management and staff from branches throughout the province, celebrated Christmas the best way possible. With children.
Caring. That’s what Christmas is all about, and this year, Tuesday 9th December, Wakefields’ staff and management loaded up their vehicles with boxes of staple foodstuffs, gifts and goodies, and headed to Inanda Road in Hillcrest where their chosen charitable organisation for children, Focus on iThemba, is located. Earlier this year, Wakefields committed R75 000 to Focus on iThemba for their new pre-primary school facility, and the Group has committed a similar sum for 2016 and beyond.
But it’s not simply a Head Office initiative, it’s the staff as well.
Wakefields staff have taken the relationship with Focus on iThemba to beyond the generosity of a big cheque, to the intimacy of small, meaningful things which make everyday life for each of these children, that bit more manageable, that much more joyful. Particularly at Christmas.
The Christmas celebratory handover may have been only on Tuesday, but leading up to it, contributing staff put their hands in their pockets, headed out shopping, gave of their time, packed boxes, and even turned their hands to knitting, in order to make the day truly special. Jackie Lockwood of the Kloof branch, knitted an impressive 45 toys - Teddy Bears, monkeys and ellies, to Pink Panthers and Hello Kittys – so each food box had something playful for each child. Jackie laughs, “I knitted in front of the TV, even on showdays between assisting clients. I’m a very emotional person, and there’s nothing more moving than seeing a smile break out on the face of a child who has so little.” To the delight of the children, Jackie sung them her favourite (apparently, her only) Zulu song!
Each festive box presented to the children had at least R200 worth of basic foodstuffs inside – and treats of soccer balls and dolls – and the children were thrilled to be taking these home to their caregivers, whether they happened to be older siblings, a grandmother, or a single parent.
Geraldine Crouch is an estate agent at Wakefields’ Berea branch: “Every Monday at work, it’s a designated staff member’s day to provide something edible to sell in the office. That money goes into our charity fund, and it went towards the Focus on iThemba Christmas handover. I hadn’t been to the school before, and I was blown away by the work they do. It’s an amazing place, and the children were so appreciative. Really makes our effort, small as it is, so incredibly worthwhile.”
Author: Anne Schauffer