Woolworths contributes in excess of R18 million every year to schools, charities and environmental organisations around South Africa through the MySchool My Village MyPlanet programme. Now even more charities and environmental groups stand to benefit from this successful programme. Established in 1997, MySchool has been operating on a national basis since 2003 and today raises funds for some 10 000 schools around the country. With the launch last year of MyVillage and MyPlanet, selected charities and environmental organisations were added to the list of beneficiaries of this fund-raising programme. Now Woolworths has announced that additional community-based and environment-focused organisations have been added to the list of beneficiaries. Among the charities supporters can nominate are the National Sea Rescue Institute, the Guide Dog Association for the Blind, the Tygerberg Association for the Blind, Cheshire Homes (Port Elizabeth), Snap (an organisation dedicated to helping children with autism), and Heartbeat, an NGO dedicated to providing support and care to orphaned and vulnerable children. Says Pieter Twine, who heads up the project for Woolworths, “As part of our Good business journey, Woolworths has committed itself to driving social development in South Africa as well as to working to protect the environment. Extending the MySchool programme to include charities and environmental organisations through MyVillage and MyPlanet is just one of the ways Woolworths is working to meet these goals.” He adds, “South Africans have a long and proud history of helping one another. At the moment, there are over 400 000 active MySchool supporters. By broadening the scope of beneficiaries, we’re also giving other community-minded customers – those who do not have children or whose children have finished school – the opportunity to support worthy causes every time they shop with us and our partner retailers.” “In fact, even if you are already a MySchool supporter, you can add one or more MyVillage or MyPlanet beneficiaries to your beneficiary list,” says Twine, who explains that the full list of beneficiaries is available on the MySchool web site (www.myschool.co.za). “All you need to do is select the organisation or organisations you’d like to support and call MySchool on 0860 10 04 45 to add them to your list.” If you are not already a supporter, becoming one is almost as easy. Apply for a MySchool card on the MySchool web site, or get a Woolworths Difference Card and enjoy other exciting benefits as part of Woolworths ‘world of difference’ loyalty programme. The Difference card is free and everyone qualifies. You can indicate on the application form that you would like to participate and you’ll be contacted to set up your MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet beneficiary. As long as your card is linked to the programme, says Twine, “Every time you swipe your card at Woolworths – whether it’s a Woolworths store charge card, Visa card, Difference card or blue MySchool card – Woolworths will donate up to 1 percent of the value of your purchase to the charity of your choice. MySchool supporters who have a blue MySchool card can also use their card at other MySchool partners in order to maximise the contributions made on their behalf.”