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CSICorporate Social Investment (CSI) has come a long way. No longer is CSI seen only as a charitable donation, an enhanced corporate image or a tax write off. Instead, the role of CSI has become imperative to the sustainability and continuing development and economic growth of our country and its communities.
As with any business or social initiative though, the right partnership always brings with it the potential for the greatest success. CSI initiatives are no different, highlighting the importance for companies to align with initiatives that speak to their core values, in turn being those with which they strongly identify. For example, CSI initiatives focused on investing in education – whilst potentially long term – encourages development that is sustainable and meaningful for both parties. This goes a long way to ensuring the building of strong and authentic relationships between business and CSI beneficiaries.
In addition, initiatives that speak to a company’s culture also encourage participation of individual staff members, the Vital Health Foods employee-driven CSI project being such an example. Inspired and encouraged to get involved in their local community, employees of Vital Health Foods subsequently adopted the Ncedeluntu Creche in Mfuleni, contributing to their groceries on a monthly basis. 
As part of their on-going commitment to community upliftment, Vital also recently hosted their third annual Vital Run, organised by Run/Walk for Life WP Athletic Club. Held at the end of 2012, all proceeds from this event were in aid of PATCH, an organisation providing support to children who have fallen victim to sexual abuse in the Helderberg area. On Thursday, 31 January an amount of R47 000 was officially handed over to PATCH Helderberg. 

“The opportunity to bring about real change, that affects the lives of our people in a tangible and uplifting way, is the responsibility of us all. Too often we underestimate the power we have to transform our communities. Now more than ever, as we attempt to distinguish ourselves as a developing country, corporate involvement through CSI initiatives has a vital role to play. It begins and ends with us,” says George Grieve, MD Vital Health Foods.