After a long day at work, most of us are happy to take it easy. Not so for Emmerentia Loubser, who works as a food Department Manager at the Jacaranda Woolworths store. Emmerentia “Emmie” Loubser began her involvement with the people of Bothleng, Delmas in 2006 when she decided the children in the community should have a proper Christmas. Soon she saw the need for more than a day’s goodwill and realised the need and urgency for external sponsorship and support. Emmie spends her spare time contacting sponsors – of which a large number are American – and collecting money and food on behalf of the community. She also visits the community on a regular basis distributing goods and playing with the children. Her efforts don’t stop there though. She is also establishing a day care centre, organising winter camps for the children and setting up a beadwork project within the community. Now Emmerentia is to receive a donation of R5 000 – to go to the community – from the Woolworths Trust. Emmerentia was the monthly winner of the Woolworths ‘Working Wonders’ initiative, which recognises the efforts Woolworths employees are making towards meeting social challenges in their communities. “Caring for people has always been at the heart of the Woolworths way of doing business,” says Brian Frost, Chairman of the Woolworths Trust, which oversees and administers Woolworths extensive CSI initiatives. “We are proud to say that it goes beyond what Woolworths does on a corporate level through our CSI programme, to the way our stores are involved in their local communities, right down to real grass roots level. The ‘Working Wonders’ programme allows us to recognise our ‘unsung heroes’ – individual Woolworths people who are making a real difference in their own way and in their own time in their own communities.” Woolworths staff members are invited to submit their stories, written in their own words. A representative group of Woolworths employees selects a winner every month, and the story is published on Woolworths intranet and in Woolworths internal newsletter, Shop Talk. “In addition to recognising individual effort, we also hope that reading these stories will inspire other staff members to get involved in community activities in some way,” Frost explains. Monthly winners are then selected by the Woolworths Trust. “It is the charities that benefit, not the individual,” Frost stresses. At the end of the year the monthly winners are reassessed and an overall yearly winner with two runner ups are chosen and their charities are rewarded again with an additional R45 000, R15 000 and R5 000 respectively.

After a long day at work, most of us are happy to take it easy. Not so for Emmerentia Loubser, who works as a food Department Manager at the Jacaranda Woolworths store.