Epiroc is passionate about giving back to the community and charities. Keeping in step with the Mandela Day value of generosity, the mining and engineering powerhouse took its philanthropic efforts to the next level by spreading goodwill not only for 67 minutes but over three days!
“We are always pushing the boundaries of enhancement, whether through our innovative product and service suite or through ways to assist in developing and uplifting the less fortunate,” states Regional Communications and Academy Manager, Kathryn Coetzer. “As 2019 is the tenth anniversary of the Mandela Day initiative and with such great need out there, Epiroc decided to go bigger than ever before, celebrating the spirit of Mandela Day at a children’s oncology ward on 17 July, decorating cupcakes on 18 July Mandela Day and visiting a number of animal shelters the following week! ”
Kicking off its goodwill drive to make a lasting impact on those in need, Epiroc visited the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital’s children’s oncology ward in support of the Cupcake of Hope Foundation. On a mission to bring smiles to the kid’s faces, Epiroc sponsored toys, board games, learning games, aromatherapy playdough and canvas drawings for colouring. These gifts were eagerly accepted by the children who couldn’t wait to start the fun. The Epiroc team thoroughly enjoyed the time spent playing with the children, getting to know them and hearing their stories.
“Our team was humbled by the positivity and bravery of the children,” says Academy Training Coordinator, Kovashni Govender. “We left with a new outlook on our own lives and the realisation that we should be thankful for the things we often take for granted each day.” Keshan Pillay, Mobilaris and Automation Regional Support Engineer at Epiroc who was part of the team visiting the hospital says that this heart-warming initiative appealed to him as it was an opportunity to take time out of their busy schedules to give back and serve the community. “I’m very grateful to have been given the chance to bring a little joy to the children in the oncology ward.”
In further aid of the Cupcake of Hope Foundation, Epiroc proudly hosted 20 cupcake decorating stations at its premises in Jet Park, Johannesburg, on Mandela Day. Epiroc employees had the opportunity to let their creative side shine by decorating a cupcake. Employees truly got into the swing of things, utilising the coloured icing and a variety of toppings to create some mouth-watering works of art. After completing their sugary masterpieces, employees could either purchase their cupcake for R10.00 or give it to the company for donation to a home. Many employees opted to donate cash as well as their decorated cupcake.
Kovashni explains that they decided to host two activities with Cupcakes for Hope to give all employees the opportunity to partake in some way, as not everyone was able to attend the hospital visit. “By bringing charitable activities to the office-bound employees we gave them the opportunity to also be a part of Mandela Day.” Regional Automation Centre Manager, Kumeshan Naidu who attended the hospital visit and decorated a cupcake says that he would like to support as many initiatives that Epiroc is able to arrange. “It is something that quickly becomes side-lined if you try to initiate and sustain it in a personnel capacity. The hospital visit took me out of my comfort zone and I was happy that a bunch of kids had another reason to smile for the day.”
This was the first year that Epiroc decided to support animal shelters. The company, together with its Steelpoort and Rustenburg branches, set out during the week of 22 July to make a difference in the lives of furry creatures. “Thanks to the generous contributions of our employees, especially our workshop employees and security manager who went out of their way to donate to this cause, we were able to collect a large amount of pet food, blankets, toys and newspapers,” explains Kovashni. This tremendous generosity enabled Epiroc to make donations to six animal shelters namely TAG, BARC, Pet Rescue, Home 4 Paws as well as SPCA Midrand and Rustenburg! During these visits employees got to spend time interacting with care givers and spreading love and giving hugs to the animals.
Opening their hearts to the initiative, Anika Olivier and Jolandi Kasselman volunteered to assist with collections in Steelpoort and Rustenburg respectively. On delivery Jolandi ensured that a blanket was personally given to each animal. “Jolandi was actually the heart and soul of this drive,” comments her team. As an animal lover from a young age, Jolandi notes that the whole experience was a complete eye opener. “Seeing the happiness and appreciation from each one of those little animals was heart-breaking but rewarding at the same time. It is satisfying to know that we changed each dog’s outlook on humans and hopefully relieved some of the scars undeservingly carried by each of them.”
Ending on an inspiring note Kovashni says, “All these selfless initiatives once again showed that a little really goes a long way and that a small act of kindness can change an individual or an animal’s life.”