Citadel employees continue to ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to long-term philanthropy, and recently poured their time, money and hearts into improving the lives of South African children in need.
South Africa – Citadel, the wealth management specialists with an entire business unit dedicated to helping clients become sustainably philanthropic, recently embarked on meaningful outreach days to benefit children at both the Blair Atholl Pre-Primary School near Lanseria and the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital’s Oncology Unit in Cape Town.
Citadel’s relationship with both organisations spans over five years. Citadel hosts an annual charity gala auction to raise funds that enable these two organisations to continue changing the lives of South African children in need.
Recently, 50 Citadel employees arrived at the Blair Atholl Pre-Primary School while children were on school holidays to make upgrades to the school. The school, founded by golf icon Gary Player and his late wife Vivienne, has been feeding and providing quality education to children in the community for over 30 years. The Citadel team patched and painted walls, decorated and installed magnetic boards in all five classrooms, upgraded lockers, restructured the storeroom and also gave the entire playground a facelift.
Principal at the Blair Atholl Pre-Primary School, Mariette Kruger, says that the bright colours that came with this full transformation has breathed new life into the school and brings joy and excitement to both the children and their dedicated teachers. “Looking back, so many things needed to be done, but in the end we turned ‘mission impossible’ into ‘mission possible’ and we’re so grateful to Citadel’s employees for giving their time, resources and talents towards making our children’s smiles larger and laughs louder,” says Kruger.
The Citadel team went back to the school once term had begun so that they could interact with the children enjoying the new space, play and do art with them and hand out grocery parcels for them to take home. Jean de Villiers, Head of Philanthropy at Citadel, says South Africans who have the means to help others should do so whenever possible and not just use Mandela Month as the only time to do good. “We need to encourage long-term partnerships that give back in a way which changes lives long-term – I believe that’s how we’ll change South Africa for the better,” says De Villiers.
De Villiers and a handful of Citadel employees also visited Cape Town’s Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital where they got a special tour of the hospital to understand all its services and then handed out care parcels to the families of outpatients, many of whom were in the burns unit. “Many of the patients had travelled so far to receive these specialised treatments and it was a pleasure to give them goods for when they return home,” says De Villiers, who encourages people to forge long-term relationships with the organisations they support which helps to find out what they need to help more people.
To date, Citadel has raised over R5 million for both organisations via its annual charity auction which brings Irish singer Ronan Keating and Gary Player together for a good cause.