Premier has teamed up with The sweethearts Foundation to donate wheelchairs to those in need through the large-scale collection of bread tags – and is encouraging South Africa to get behind the cause.
The sweethearts Foundation, established in 2009, is a Gauteng-based non-profit initiative for the upliftment of the disabled through the donation of wheelchairs to those who need them most. To date, the organisation has donated over 120 wheelchairs to deserving recipients across the country.
The sweethearts Foundation collects bread tags and plastic bottle tops (such as those found on milk and cool drink bottles), which are then recycled by Interwaste and Zibo Groplost.
The remuneration for plastic collected for recycling is used to fund the purchase of new wheelchairs. For every 15kgs of tags collected or 150kgs of bottle tops, the foundation donates one wheelchair; for every 350kg collected, they can donate a specialised wheelchair.
The foundation accepts applications from any disabled adults or children in need, as well as nominations for wheelchair recipients from friends, family or the community. Upon completion of the nomination or application process, the nominee is put on a waiting list for the next available wheelchair.
Premier is driving its own tag collections through its bakeries, as well as hoping to raise awareness and is encouraging corporates, schools and the public to start their own collection drives.
Premier’s Cape Town bakery was the first to collect enough bread tags for a wheelchair donation. The collection culminated in the donation of a wheelchair to a 71-year old Zeerust resident on the 26th of September. This marked the beginning of what Premier hopes to be a rewarding partnership with The Sweethearts Foundation.
Since starting the initiative, both the Durban and East London Premier bakeries have collected enough bread tags to donate one wheelchair each so far.
“The first three wheelchairs donated by our bakeries will go a long way to better the lives of those who receive them, but this is just the beginning of what we hope will be many more considerable collections and meaningful donations,” says Premier Corporate Communications Officer Nodumo Novuka.
Although the foundation’s primary focus is the donation of wheelchairs, their devoted volunteers also assist further with the donation of diapers to wheelchair recipients who cannot afford them, as well as clothing, food, blankets and books. Increased support has allowed the foundation to begin donating wheelchairs to children with disabilities, not just adults.
“Any organisation, school or individual can set up a collection point for bread tags and get involved with this worthy cause,” says Novuka. “Something as simple as a bread tag – a tiny piece of plastic we throw away without thinking twice – could drastically better the life of someone in need.”
“We challenge our competitors, Sasko and Albany, to get behind this worthwhile initiative and work with us to support this amazing cause,” concludes Novuka.
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