BRIGHTS celebrates 50 years of being ‘more than just a hardware store’ & giving back to Western Cape Communities
To mark the 50th birthday of their family-owned hardware chain, BRIGHTS Hardware is celebrating by giving back to various organisations within Western Cape communities, including The Fathers Heart, an NGO that is in desperate need of a new community centre in Fisantekraal.
“It is hard to believe that half a century has gone by since my late husband and I started this family business in 1971,” says BRIGHTS co-founder Nita Luis. “From humble beginnings BRIGHTS has grown from strength to strength and now consists of nine stores in the Western Cape, as well as an online store shopping experience.”
“We are so thankful for this success and feel that there is no better way to mark our Jubilee birthday than by giving back.”
According to Luis, The Fathers Heart has been working in the community of Fisantekraal since early 2019 from leased premises where they run after school programmes, talent development interventions and parent workshops, as well as utilising it as a safe space for social workers to engage with the community. However, the premises they use is too small and lacks necessary infrastructure and resources, which has severely constrained the number of children they can assist. BRIGHTS is joining several other organisations to assist The Fathers Heart in developing a brand-new multi-purpose community centre at Fisantekraal, and will be supplying much needed building materials for the construction of this centre.
The Fisantekraal Child & Youth Development Centre will feature two multi-purpose halls which will be used as classrooms for age specific homework assistance, tutoring, skills development and training, parent and personal development classes, large group programmes, dance and theatre classes as well as indoor basketball. The centre will also feature offices for staff, social services and occupational therapy, a counselling and prayer room, a dedicated IT, art and music room, as well as change rooms for the children who play sports. A large fully functional kitchen for preparing after school lunches, a vegetable garden, outdoor green spaces, a multi-purpose sports ground, and a playground will also be included in the Centre’s layout.
“This is an exceptional organisation doing essential work in the marginalised communities of Cape Town,” says Luis. “We are all responsible for the wellbeing of the next generation and to make this world a better place for everyone. BRIGHTS believes that an essential way forward is to create facilities where the children and youth can discover their self-worth and develop their God given talent – such as that planned by The Fathers Heart in Fisantekraal.”
Sowing seeds in local communities
The support pledged to The Fathers Heart is the latest in what has been an ongoing passion and focus by BRIGHTS to assist charity foundations and initiatives in the Western Cape. In the past 20 years alone BRIGHTS has supported more than 26 different non-profit organisations, including Girls and Boys Town, Hope Prison Ministries, U-Turn, the Elim Night Shelter, the Amy Biehl Training School for Adults and the New Heritage Foundation, to name a few.
Chantelle Goliath and her husband Ivan founded the New Heritage Foundation when they lost everything and had to move into a Wendy house with their three children. Through their Foundation they are trying to make a difference by assisting various projects that focus on young children and youth.
“After founding the New Heritage Foundation, we required financial assistance with the daily running of our day care centre on Jakes Gerwel Drive. Fifteen minutes after sending out an email plea for help I was contacted by Nita Luis from BRIGHTS offering their generous support.”
Orlando Luis, the CEO of BRIGHTS, says that the business’ success could not have been achieved without the communities they support, as well as their own community of employees – some of whom have been with BRIGHTS for several decades.
Michelle Koeberg is one example of a BRIGHTS employee that has been with the organisation for many years. Koeberg started as a cashier at the Boston branch 26 years ago and worked her way up over the years to become a Manager and is now the Branch Executive.
“If I look back over the past 26 years of working at BRIGHTS, the fact that long-standing customers and their families are still shopping with us is testimony to the value our business,” says Koeberg.
“It is often the architects that unfairly get all the praise, however, it is the builders that do all the hard work and at BRIGHTS we are committed to giving back to our employees through various training modules offered to all our staff in order to facilitate upskilling and promotion whenever possible,” explains Luis. BRIGHTS is also looking to support staff to launch their own hardware businesses via a container hardware concept-store initiative. Their second independently owned container hardware store will be open shortly in the Khayelitsha area.
Looking forward, Orlando Luis says that he is excited for the future. “Our directors and staff work together to support, build-up, and enhance the quality of life for our employees and our communities, thus maintaining our motto that ‘BRIGHTS is more than just a hardware store’. In all of this, BRIGHTS’ mission is to glorify God as good stewards of everything that has been entrusted to us.”
BRIGHTS will be running a series of exciting in-store promotions over the course of their birthday – offering customers additional discounts, double points for cardholders, instant prizes to be won and product demos and activations.