Helping Heidi Find Her Wings

Showing the Pretoria community what it really means to help someone find their wings, the SPAR Women’s Challenge & Good Morning Angels stepped in to show support and comfort to mother of three, Heidi Els, who lost her husband in April 2018. Two weeks after her story aired on the Jacaranda FM’s Good Morning Angels broadcast, Heidi is well on her way to finding her wings again.

Just over a month since losing her husband and two weeks after her story aired, Heidi is indeed closer to finding her wings thanks to monumental support from SPAR, Jacaranda Good Morning Angels, close family and friends and the Tshwane community. “To me ‘finding your wings’ now means taking baby steps along your journey, to keep on praying, and to keep holding your head up high. And never take anything for granted,” says Heidi.

On 29 April 2018, Francois Els left home to pick up takeaways for his family. Tragically, he was caught in the midst of a robbery and was shot and killed. Aside from the heartbreak of losing a beloved husband and father, Heidi and their three children were left without the breadwinner in their household. Ilze Geertsema who works with Heidi at Prinsies en Prinsessies nursery school in Erasmuskloof, Pretoria contacted former Miss SA Roelene Strauss who then passed Heidi’s story along to the Jacaranda FM Good Morning Angels. Ilze explained that Heidi would now be struggling financially as a single mother with her daughter going into high school next year and two young boys in primary school.

After hearing Heidi’s story from the Jacaranda Good Morning Angels team, the SPAR Women’s Challenge Pretoria stepped in to provide much needed support to Heidi by giving her free groceries from SPAR for the rest of the year valued at a total of R40 000. SPAR handed over their donation to Heidi at the official launch event of the 2018 Pretoria SPAR Women’s Challenge and took a moment to celebrate Heidi’s remarkable strength and the way that she has found her wings in the face of heartbreak and adversity. “We hope that this will help Heidi find her wings. I truly believe that she will find them again but hopefully this will give her one less thing to worry about in the meantime,” said SPAR North Rand’s Retha Ingenbleek during the Good Morning Angels live broadcast on 16 May 2018.

“This whole experience has helped me realise how many people – angles – are out there and are willing to open their hearts and support us. It is so amazing and I don’t have the words to thank everyone enough. Both me and my kids feel so blessed, loved and taken care of,” Heidi says.

Heidi’s advice to all the women out there who are trying to find their wings in the face of life’s challenges, is take it one step at a time. “It is not easy to carry on when it feels like your whole world has come to an end in just a second. Keep on praying and tell the people in your life that you love them and surround yourself with people who lift you up and support you. Put on your lipstick in the morning, dress up and start every day with love and a smile.”

Once again, the SPAR Women’s Challenge has proven that we can unite and uplift each other. Thanks to every woman who has entered this year’s Pretoria SPAR Women’s Challenge, Heidi has the support she needs to walk a difficult journey. “Thank you to SPAR from the bottom of our hearts. You have given us one less thing to worry about. Thank you for taking care of us.”