COMMUNITY CHEST TURNS 60!
The 3rd of August 2020 marked a special moment in the history of the Pietermaritzburg & District Community Chest. The Organisation reached the remarkable milestone of celebrating its 60th Anniversary.
From beginnings that seemed like it would not take off at first, the Pietermaritzburg Community Chest has grown over the years in stature, reputation and presence that has touched the lives of literally tens of thousands of people from across our District, either as beneficiaries or donors.
It was the Pietermaritzburg Rotary Club who first mooted the idea of starting a Community Chest in Pietermaritzburg as far back as 1931. Similar efforts were already underway in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. The dream was to also inaugurate a Community Chest in Pietermaritzburg. An in-principle resolution was approved and the efforts began.
However, getting the Pietermaritzburg Community Chest off the ground was easier said than done. Two of the then leading charitable organisations in the city did not favour the move. In light of the prevailing economic depression and financial constraints facing business and individuals, the effort was put aside for a while.
A second attempt was initiated in August 1936. A Provisional Committee was formed and Rotary donated £5 for incidental expenses of the committee in going about its business. By the end of 1936, only one organisation had applied for membership, while the two major charities who previously objected, still refused to support the effort. As a result and despite the significant efforts made by Rotary, the move to establish a Community Chest fizzled out.
It took another 22 odd years before yet another attempt was made. This time, the initiative came from the newly formed Junior Chamber of Commerce (JCC). The rest is history. The Pietermaritzburg & District Community Chest was established on 3 August 1960 and thanks to the sterling efforts of its first Chairperson, Dr Bernard Armitage (1961 – 1983), a solid foundation was laid for the Community Chest to grow in stature, ever since.
As we celebrate our 60th Anniversary in 2020, we wish to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Pietermaritzburg Rotary Club and the Junior Chamber of Commerce for their foresight and efforts. The Community Chest also salutes all previous Chairpersons of Council, Executive Directors and Councillors who steered the Organisation onto success.
Of course, the Community Chest nothing without all the loyal donors, media partners, volunteers, well-wishers, community Impact Partners and dedicated staff. Without you, our vision of “enhanced communities – restored hope” is a comforting platitude. Your never-ending practice of “love for your neighbour” has touched the hearts of tens of thousands over the years when they needed it most.
To many of them, you remain anonymous and they may never get to say “Thank You!” but you have given to many a reason to look forward to tomorrow and one day, in turn, be the source of hope for someone else too,
Last year this time, as the Community Chest, we began to brain-storm ideas for celebrating our 60th Anniversary. We had great plans! Little did we realise then that the Covid-19 pandemic would sweep over us like a tsunami.
True to the spirit that embodies the Community Chest, we turn adversity into opportunity. With the help of our generous donor community, we redirected and redoubled our efforts to addressing the most pressing needs faced amongst the vulnerable members of our communities. Through our Food Security and Bread Drives, we have assisted in ensuring that families facing hunger because of the lockdown or loss of a job can still have some food on their table.
In the end, to mark the occasion, the Community Chest held a simple cake-cutting ceremony at its Offices and followed this up with facilitating the donation of 60 food hampers, each worth nearly R500 and consisting of a month’s supply of groceries to 60 families in the rural communities of Impendle in recognition of 60 years of service to our communities. A special Thank You to The Spar Group for the donation of the food parcels.
In a most unexpected turn, the 60th Anniversary celebrations are also making a lasting impact through a newly formed partnership with Wonderbag, who in recognition of our 60 years of service, has offered 60 000 Wonderbags to be distributed by the Community Chest through its Community Impact Partners and other not-for-profit organisations.
Last, though by no means least, a very special Thank You to Dr Keith Wimble for the three delicious birthday cakes, of which two went to the recipients of the food hampers in Impendle.
The Community Chest welcomes more initiatives, both big and small, from our donor community in celebration of our 60th Anniversary. Please contact Angie Narayanan 0727910311 or Richard Rangiah on firstname.lastname@example.org / 082 571 1770 to make your idea a reality for the betterment of our communities
WILDSERIES LAUNCHES VIRTUAL ADVENTURE WITH A DIFFERENCE
The WILDSERIES team is excited to launch the Mont-Aux-Sources Virtual Adventure which will see its participants being taken on a virtual guided experience to immerse themselves in nature from the comfort of their own backyards and local trails. The adventure starts on the 15th August and will run for 7 days bringing it all to a close on the 21st of August 2020.
The WILDSERIES Mont-Aux-Sources Virtual Adventure is going to be one of the most exciting and interactive virtual experiences of the Covid-19 season. 2020 brought with it very unexpected and novel situations which saw many events cancelled, leaving runners taking to their backyards to stay fit during lockdown and in some cases achieving some unbelievable feats.
The WILDSERIES Mont-Aux-Sources Virtual Adventure aims to be more than just another virtual run and includes many of the elements you find at the real Monties which includes a little community banter, a few insightful presentations, a physical challenge or two as well as the opportunity to make a difference in support of the critically endangered Bearded Vultures through our work with our conservation partner, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.
Further to this, this adventure will showcase other work done by WILDLANDS in the Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg World Heritage Site which includes land restoration, enabling the surrounding community access to water, rotational grazing advice and land proclamation plans to bolster the conservation efforts of this world heritage site. These efforts are made possible through support received from the Global Nature Fund and the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries.
Entry into this virtual adventure will cost R150. To download the app for free on your Android or Apple smart device, simply click https://www.scavify.com/download
Entries opened on 22 July and will close on 14 August 2020. To enter simply click http://mas.entrysys.co.za/ and fill in your form. To help us raise further funds, a unique technical running t-shirt is available for you to purchase at R100 each.
Keep an eye on our social media pages for the latest updates as we build up to this virtual adventure for conservation. You can also contact us with any pressing questions at email@example.com or inbox us on your preferred social media platforms