As the first cold spell of winter hits the Highveld and temperatures plummet, the South African Rugby Legends Association (SARLA) and players from the Lions Rugby team joined forces to bring some warmth to communities in Gauteng, on Sunday, 31 May 2020.
Lions captain Elton Jantjies, has been part of SARLA President Gavin Varejes’s food parcel initiative for the last four Sundays. This Sunday, Elton and some of his Lions teammates shopped for essential food items and packed them into parcels with blankets for distribution to communities in need. The event took place at SPAR, the Wedge Shopping Centre, Rivonia Road, Morningside.
“I was inspired by Gavin and SARLA’s commitment to help those who have been the most affected during the COVID-19 lockdown period”, said Elton, “especially the example set by our Rugby Legends, including Joel Stransky, John Smit and Warren Brosnihan. So, I decided to put a call out to a few of my Lions teammates to join me this Sunday to help”.
Having not seen his teammates for a while due to social distancing measures, Jantjies also sees this as the perfect opportunity for his team to get together and enjoy some face-to-face time, having spent the last eight weeks apart.
“So, not only are we getting together to do some good, but we are also getting together for the good of the team”, he said.
Once put together by the team, parcels will be donated to the Leratong Joy for One Orphanage, which cares for neglected, orphaned, abandoned, and abused children, many of whom are HIV positive.
Parcels will also be donated to residents of Vereeniging’s Lewenskruispaaie Care Centre, in Vereeniging, which helps underprivileged people living in informal settlements.
The weekly Sunday food parcel initiative was the brainchild of SARLA President, Gavin Varejes.
The programme has seen over 1000 parcels distributed in the past four weeks. Gavin said, “Times are tough during lockdown, and we really hope that, through this initiative, we can make some small impact on the lives of people who are struggling.
“We’re very grateful to SPAR for coming onboard to help make a difference for our poorer communities, and thanks to Elton and the Lions as well as our SARLA Legends for putting some muscle into our efforts.”
Mike Prentice, Group Marketing Executive from SPAR said, “We owe it to our poorer people to do whatever we can to stop them from going hungry in this difficult time for our economy.
“SPAR stores are run by community members who want to enhance the lives of the communities they operate in. We continue to challenge our fellow South Africans embrace that philosophy and take up the SPAR Charity Challenge for people who really need our help.”
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