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Hollywoodbets continues their community support during COVID-19 crisis

Grocery Parcels at Ottawa Primary School in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Ottawa community receives 150 food parcels courtesy of joint venture between Hollywoodbets My Community Programme and Mike Procter Foundation.


Phoenix – On Friday 17 April, a team from Hollywoodbets that included our cricket brand ambassador Mike Procter, visited the Ottawa Primary School in Phoenix to show their support to this community. A donation of 150 food parcels was made to members of the community, who are experiencing severe need during these difficult times. The school’s Principal, Ms T.P. Msane, acted as client liaison, ensuring that as many families as possible were helped.

The school keeps a list of orphaned and vulnerable children within our community, in order for us to assist wherever we can – and this is how the chosen beneficiaries for the food parcels were identified.

Hollywoodbets chose to get involved with Ottawa Primary as this is a normal weekly activity for former South African cricket legend, Mike Procter. Procter has been involved with the school for 10 years and currently offers cricket coaching to the children free of charge, as well as running the physical education programme for over 1100 children. Through the Mike Procter Foundation, this unsung hero also runs assisted feeding schemes during the December and January holidays to ensure that the learners receive nutritious meals. In an effort to make a larger impact on the community, Procter invited his new Hollywoodbets family to be part of this urgent cause, asking that Hollywoodbets embrace the Ottawa Community as part of its COVID-19 relief response.
Principal Msane explained that Ottawa Primary has been involved in the National School Nutrition Programme since it started in 2005. “Food is served every day at 10am from Monday to Friday. This programme is run from the start to end of every academic year” said Msane. “The school keeps a list of orphaned and vulnerable children within our community, in order for us to assist wherever we can – and this is how the chosen beneficiaries for the food parcels were identified.”
“I was very excited upon hearing the news that the school will be receiving food parcels, because I had already received multiple calls from community members in need of food to be able to feed their children. The overall experience filled me with happiness, especially seeing the grateful faces of the recipients. On behalf of the Ottawa School Governing Body and the staff, we cannot thank Hollywoodbets and Mike Procter enough for all that they have done for us. We are forever grateful,” said Msane.

Mike Procter with Ottawa School Principal Miss Msane
Mike Procter with Ottawa School Principal Miss Msane.

“To Hollywoodbets, thank you for believing in my mission to assist this community, and backing this initiative with your resources from the start. Thank you to Devin and Babongile for all your time and effort in putting this handover together. I am proud to be one of your brand ambassadors, and look forward to assisting in further projects” Procter added.
“I must also make mention of Garth Slater and his team at Eastmans Spar, who came on board to assist with this food parcel drive. The great pricing, as well as an additional donation of more goods, allowed us to increase the food parcels from 100 to 150!” said Procter.
Thank you to the Team at Eastman’s SPAR for coming on board with this initiative.

Hollywoodbets Brand and Communications Manager, Devin Heffer, explained that it was a quick decision for the company to get involved, as it perfectly corresponds to what Hollywoodbets stands for. “As Hollywoodbets aligns its values with that of our brand ambassador Mike Procter, it was natural to work with him on this initiative as part of our Hollywoodbets My Community Programme. Like Mike, we truly believe in living out the spirit of Ubuntu. Recently, we spoke about the struggles the Ottawa community are experiencing during this lockdown. At Ottawa Primary, the 10am meal is the only square meal many of the children will eat that day. When the local authorities implemented the strict isolation rules, Ottawa School was one of the many schools forced to close, and a lot of these kids would be going without food. Therefore, when Mike asked to see how we could assist, we brought together our resources to support this food parcel drive and to help feed the community of Ottawa,” said Heffer
Members of the South African Police Service were present on the day thanks to the involvement of Brigadier Ndlovu (from Durban North Police Station) and his team, who ensured that all the necessary precautions were taken and that social distancing was being practised. They also acted as gate control to ensure that the parcels went to the identified beneficiaries.
Many safety precautions were put in place and strictly adhered to. The team was equipped with face masks, gloves and hand sanitisers in order to prepare the food parcels. Messages were also sent out to community members to begin the collection of their parcels at various intervals to control the number of people present. A maximum of five community members were allowed entry into the school at one time, with everyone having their hands sanitised before entering the school grounds.

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