JAM has always been committed to giving back to the community, and have embarked on various social responsibility projects over the years. CEO Michael Ditz explains, "Our community plays a big role in our success, and it is therefore important that we do not forget them in their time of need". To give to those in need is a priceless experience - share some of those special moments with JAM by reading the articles below.
Robin Hood Foundation
The Robin Hood Foundation is an NPO in Durban, KwaZulu Natal,
run by a team of trustees who work on a voluntary basis.
They aim to collect and use resources from businesses and individuals to assist grannies and mums in disadvantaged communities. The people they help are personally known by churches and community workers and all donations are handed directly to those in need.
These projects are run in Durban and Greater Durban communities. Other Random Acts of Kindness are also done to spread love, blessings and connect communities through helping each other and working together, with only one full time employee and a dedicated team of volunteers.
Zululand Rhino Reserve
At JAM, we care about our community.
That's why we teamed up with the Zululand Rhino Reserve to help out. Founded in 2004, in the heart of Zululand, the ZRR supports various crèches in the surrounding community.
We joined them in their attempt to give back to the Sekane and Mbuzeli crèches by providing them with donations.
The little ones were overjoyed and received clothing, shoes, a gift and toiletries. A stationary starter pack for the older children who will attend school next year was also provided.
A big thank you to the Zululand Rhino Reserve for allowing us to be a part of this special project.
Red Frogs South Africa
JAM has partnered with Red Frogs South Africa as a sponsor in their #safeguardingageneration campaign.
Red Frogs South Africa is a support network of volunteers who aim to be a positive presence in party environments around South Africa. Present at Matric holidays and various festivals, having been founded in 1997, the Red Frog Crew have attempted to provide safety and relational care to young South Africans during transitional stages in their lives.
Making free pancakes, handing out their famous Red Frog sweets and free water, the team are focused on building positive relationships with the youth, to safeguard a generation.
Durban Children's Home
On Fridays we like to Zumba! It's fun and it keeps all of our staff fit, healthy and happy. We decided we'd like to share the fun, so we packed up our Zumba instructor and some of the JAM team members and headed over to Durban Children's Home for some Friday afternoon frivolity.
Durban Children's Home is a Non-Government Organisation. They care for orphans, destitute children and children with parents who were unable to care for them.
The children were really excited, there were smiles all around and they had an absolute blast trying to follow along with all the moves. Once the fitness session was done we handed out some treats and spent some quality time just hanging out.
The Open Air School
The Open Air School in Glenwood provides education to children with Special Educational Needs. The children come from all social and economic backgrounds and the school follows the normal academic curriculum. A dedicated team of teachers, headed by the Principal, Mr D N Moodley, leads the way in innovative and imaginative teaching to suit the needs of the children. The medium of instruction is English. Afrikaans and Zulu are offered as first additional languages. Over the last few years the school has maintained an average pass rate of over 90% in the Senior Certificate Examination. Many of their learners have received bursaries from amongst others, the St Giles Association for the Handicapped. For those learners who cannot cope in the academic classes and need more practical work, they have three classes which are more skills-based.
Each year JAM clothing sponsors sports training shirts for the entire school. We also make a donation to the school every Christmas, on behalf of each of our suppliers.
The Street Store
Durban hosted its first pop-up store on Saturday, 15 November 2014. JAM Clothing was fortunate to be a part of the clothing drive and was able to donate t-shirts for volunteers as well as clothing donated from JAM fans. Over 600 people reaped the benefits of this initiative. On the 16 May 2015 the second Street Store was held. The goal was to change the lives of 800 people in the Durban surrounds. Through the efforts of those who assisted, over 850 people in need reaped the benefits of this great cause.
What is The Street Store?
People want to help but aren’t always sure how, and for the homeless, begging is degrading. In partnership with the Haven Night Shelter, The Street Store was born – the world’s first rent-free, premises-free, FREE pop-up store for the homeless. Somewhere safe to give and easy to collect. Made only from posters, people hang up and drop off donations, then the homeless choose things they actually want and like.
Within days of asking for donations on South African social media, The Street Store garnered international attention from organisations such as Bono’s ONE, Huffington Post, TEDx and hundreds more. More importantly, this initiative has brought people together like never before. To date, over 150 cities have signed up.
Kennedy Road Fire
JAM Clothing, in partnership with the Saints Network (a non-religion based, no money donations organisation that uses the power of networking to help the less fortunate) rushed to the aid of Kennedy Road Informal Settlement in Sydenham after a raging fire tore through the community on the 3rd April, leaving hundreds of families homeless.
With their homes burnt down to the ground and most left with only the clothing on their backs, JAM readily donated a large amount of clothing that was suitable for men, women and children, and ensured that the residents didn't feel the first chill of winter before the long Easter Weekend.
Natalie Buck, Marketing Manager of JAM, commented, "With winter clearly on its way, we were concerned about the lack of warm clothing available to these residents, and are so pleased to have contributed significantly to the well-being of members in this community who have lost so much."
Jam Clothing gives back to communities in need...
The end of September saw the exciting arrival of two new JAM Stores to the areas of Edendale, Pietermaritzburg and Esikhawini, Richards Bay. These openings presented the ideal opportunity to lend a helping hand to those within the communities that had fallen on hard times. On the 30th of September, JAM donated much needed clothing to the Ubuntu Children's Crisis Centre (UCCC) in Edendale and HOPE in Esikhawini.
With much gratitude, Magic Khanyile (UCCC Project Manager) accepted the donations from Pretty Bengu and Albert Kofi-Aidoo (JAM Clothing Manager, Edendale) on behalf of the twenty-eight children that presently call the centre home. UCCC was founded in 1993 and operates as an orphanage; caring for children who are struggling with abuse, poverty and HIV/AIDS. The centre offers a loving and nurturing environment; providing the children with beds, three meals a day and enrolment in local schools - aiding in the growth and development of these children.
Natalie Buck, Marketing Manager of JAM comments, "With a large assortment of styles and sizes to choose from, all the delighted children were able to benefit from the donation." On the same day, many kilometres away, Thabani Nzimande (HOPE Project Manager) and Phuthi Chonoco (HOPE Board Member) accepted their donations from JAM Store Manager Esikhawini, Wanda Ghlomo. Clearly appreciative of the donation, Nzimande expressed his thanks, "We as HOPE Board Members, Management and staff, would like to pass our gratitudes to thank you for the donation you have made to us. We really appreciate it. Thanks from the team."
HOPE is an acronym and stands for: H- Healing, O – Outreach services, P – People development programmes and E – Evangelism. The project/programme was initiated by Covenant Fellowship Church International. It strives to assist and ensure that people living in dire situations basic needs are met; as well as providing programmes such as family support services, grief counselling and people development programmes. "We are happy to support these worthy organisations and know that our donations of clothing will contribute to the enhancement of these people's lives and hopefully bring them some much deserved joy," concludes Buck.
Cato Crest Community
Winters in South Africa, and more specifically KwaZulu Natal, have become synonymous with fires ravaging the homes situated in informal settlements. Wednesday, 1 June saw tragedy hit Cato Crest Informal Settlement in Durban when a shack fire left 200 people without shelter, clothing or any of their personal documents. In the midst of Durban's coldest months this disaster could not have happened at a worse time; however the residents had a much deserved reason to smile.
JAM Clothing made a substantial donation of clothing from both their Johannesburg and Durban branches to the residents of Cato Crest Informal Settlement, in the hope of making their lives and the great loss the community suffered a little more bearable. Boxes of men's, women's and children's clothing valued at approximately R40, 000.00 was handed over to the community on Tuesday 07 June 2011.
Natalie Buck, JAM Marketing Manager, explains, "We sincerely hope that our donation helps to keep the Cato Crest warm during the coming months and that it offers some relief to their lives after this terrible disaster".
This year JAM got involved with the Glenwood Community Forum, to help support their initiative to uplift and improve the community. The Forum does wonderful work to ensure that Glenwood is a safe and happy place for families and businesses alike. At the annual Glenwood Community Festival, held to raise funds for a variety of worthy causes, JAM sponsored T-shirts for all the Glenwood Community Forum members, as well as for the Festival organisers.
The Jam Clothing supports Glenwood Community brightly coloured T-shirts, which were especially branded with the Festival logo, helped to create awareness for the Forum as well as ensure that the organisers were clearly visible at all times. The Festival included a Mardi Gras Parade, various sporting events and a community prayer day.
Not only does the Festival serve to bring the community together, but all the funds raised were used to upgrade the Umbilo SAPS Community Service Centre and to set up a venue where free counseling is offered to women and children at risk or suffering from abuse. "It is important for JAM to become involved with the community, and it gives us great satisfaction to see the results of the Festival making a difference in peoples' lives", says CEO Michael Ditz.
The CHOC Cows
The CHOC Cows are a national NPO, raising funds for CHOC (Childhood Haematology and Oncology Clinics) in particular and various other childhood cancer related charities.
The Cows, support the work of CHOC across South Africa, thus ensuring there is support and access to education and care for as many children as possible and not only those in major centres.
Since their inception The Cows have raised more than – R24 million and counting. That’s a lot of help for a lot of families and children as they navigate diagnosis, treatment and recovery (and unfortunately in some instances bereavement).
At JAM, we partner with the Cows through the sponsorship of their various events, such as the “100 Miles Of Nowhere” event and many more.