Management teams from several City Lodge Hotel Group (CLHG) properties in Johannesburg came together this winter to collect items for the Emthonjeni Community Centre in poverty-stricken Zandspruit, west of Johannesburg. On 27 August 2019, the group donated a trailer-load of used linen and bedding and new and used scarves, gloves, beanies and clothes. Guests donated these winter woollies in the "Warm heads, hands and hearts" collection in participating hotels, dropping them off in specially marked boxes in reception.
In addition to bringing along second-hand items, guests could purchase new gloves, beanies and scarves from reception to place in the collection boxes. Linen and bedding were donated following refurbishments and routine replacement at hotels, and staff donated gently worn clothes. The Centre received a range of pre-loved yet still smart uniforms earlier this year, which went a long way to helping job seekers in the community arrive for interviews and work looking their best. Much of this was made available in the successful swap shop at Emthonjeni, which exchanges glass for goods.
The swap shop is a social place for women and children to gather, showing each other what they've “bought” with their points received from donating glass, and catching up on community news while their children play in safety. Glass collection is a community-based project that empowers women and serves as an important recycling project.
It's an all-women team at the heart of the Emthonjeni Community Centre (pictured from left): Estelle Mengel (partnership development), Jane Mokhethi (centre manager), Dikeledi Gouwe (project coordinator) and Joyce Mahlalela (swap shop manager and caretaker).
Standing in front of the trailer of goods for donation are (from left): Estelle Mengel (partnership development, Emthonjeni), Valerie Johnston (AGM City Lodge Hotel Newtown), Marnitz de Beer (GM Town Lodge Sandton, Grayston Drive), Dikeledi Gouwe (project coordinator Emthonjeni), Joyce Mahlalela (Emthonjeni swap shop manager and caretaker), Brendan Luttig (GM City Lodge Hotel Fourways) and Simo Mthimkulu (GM City Lodge Hotel Newtown).