SPAR Employees Show Incredible Generosity In The Face Of Adversity

Fire guts shop, staff volunteer their time to help their community.
Applause for the owner and staff of Bela Bela SUPERSPAR Limpopo, whose incredible generosity in the face of adversity amplifies community spirit and selflessness.
On the 23 September, tragedy struck when the Bela Bela SUPERSPAR burnt down. Store owner, Carel Coetzee and his wife Lize were faced with a life-changing event that has inspired not only their community but thousands of South Africans who have happened upon the story.
Coetzee gathered his staff of 148 and told them that he would continue paying their wages while the store was rebuilt but asked that each and every one of them continue to serve the community in a different way.
Through this tragedy, the I AM SPAR project was born in the parking lot. Coetzee said, “We explained to our staff that, although we had lost our building, we could still serve. Our staff, some of whom have worked with us for 17 years, would continue to work for Bela Bela SUPERSPAR although we temporarily had no shop to run. We divided the staff into teams and they have been working wonders at a number of local organisations that have been in need of assistance.”
The teams, fondly named “Team Fish and Chips”, “Team Take Away”, “Team Front of House”, “Team Butchery”,” Team Fruit and Veg” and “Team Bakery” have been assisting various charity projects and NGOs. In the last two months they have spent more than 30 000 hours, painting and cleaning schools; helping at creches and old age homes; cleaning hospitals; weeding sports grounds; planting vegetable patches; and assisting at disability centres, the Police Station and churches.
Leading up to Christmas, this inspiring story sends a beautiful message out to South Africans. Mike Prentice, SPAR Marketing Director said, “From all of us at SPAR, we applaud you, Bela Bela SUPERSPAR, and we thank you for being true heroes and giving back to the community that supports you. This positive act of a community uniting is what makes SPAR proud.”
This act of paying it forward seems to have sparked more acts of kindness in the area. Local farmers and businesses donated and assisted in the distribution of tons of onions amongst the needy in Bela Bela and a local transport company assisted with the logistics of getting food to various places.
A local story of people uniting, and an owner with a big community heart, has captured the hearts of many. The story has been viewed more than 64,500 times and shared over 14,000 times on social media.
Bela Bela SUPERSPAR will continue to help their community until their new building is ready for trading, hopefully before Easter next year.
To follow the story of Bela Bela SUPERSPAR, find them on Facebook where they post images and short stories of who they have been helping.

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