The Woolworths and MySchool ‘Play it Forward’ fundraising campaign has come to an end with winners Cowan House Co-educational Preparatory School, Pietermaritzburg, and Hillcrest Christian Academy, Durban, being the top scoring schools in the country. A total of 388 primary schools participated in the campaign. These two schools, and the third place finisher, King David Junior School, Linksfield, Johannesburg, each received R100 000 in the handover ceremonies held in Durban on 20 July and in Johannesburg on the 21 July.


Each of the top three finishers received an additional ‘prize’ of R50 000 to donate to a cause of their choice. Cowan House donated R50 000 to the iThemba Projects, which they will use towards building a preschool and resource centre in the Mpumuza (Sweetwaters) area near Pietermaritzburg. 

Focus on iThemba, an education trust which offers cluster foster care and education for orphaned and vulnerable children, will receive R50 000 from Hillcrest Christian Academy.  “We are exceedingly grateful for the R50 000 donation given to our organisation.  Every cent stretches a long way to make a difference in the lives of children who otherwise would have no hope,” says Nadine Wright, Donor Relations Manager.

The King David Schools Foundation, which offers academic support to a number of disadvantaged schools in Gauteng, have played its R50 000 ‘gift’ from King David Junior School in Linksfield, Johannesburg, forward to iKage Primary School in Alexandra.

Cowan House

The handover awards ceremonies which was attended by the schools and their beneficiaries, welcomed special guest, football legend, Woolworths Brand Ambassador, and South Africa 2010 Ambassador, Lucas Radebe, who was a stalwart supporter of the campaign.

The aim of the Play It Forward campaign, which ran from early March to the end of May, was to generate additional funds for participating schools through Woolworths donations to MySchool while at the same time building excitement on playgrounds as South Africa moved towards kickoff on 11 June, explains Pieter Twine, General Manager of MySchool.

Each class at participating schools was given a unique code for parents, friends and family members to link their cards to, and every swipe of a linked Woolworths or MySchool card at Woolworths counted towards weekly class prizes at every school, as well as the grand prizes.

The idea for ‘Playing It Forward’ was sparked by the concept of ‘Paying It Forward’, by doing something good for someone else without expecting anything in return.

To ensure fairness, points were awarded based on the number of swipes, number of items purchased and number of Woolworths stores shopped.

There were also prizes for kids who uploaded videos showing their soccer moves, and parents and other supporters had a chance to win a Nintendo Wii just by registering and swiping their cards.

A total of 18 612 people registered to be part of the campaign. “We were incredibly impressed not only by the number of schools and cardholders who participated, but by the enthusiasm everyone showed. Virtually every participating school raised additional funds, which we know will be put to good use,” says MySchool’s Twine.