Paul Roos Gymnasium pupil DB Janse van Rensburg, Grade 11, means business when it comes to helping the disabled.
DB took up the challenge at the beginning of 2016, and since then, with the support of local schools and the community, he has been able to assist five people with new wheelchairs through the Breadtags for Wheelchairs Project.
DB was honoured for his efforts at tea party at Joostenberg Bistro on Wednesday August 9, held to celebrate a decade of touching the lives of the disabled, as well as the efforts of the collectors and coordinators who make the project such a success.
According to Adri Spangenberg, director of the Polystyrene Association of South Africa (PASA), a principal coordinator of the project, more than 3 000 wheelchairs have been donated to recipients who are physically disabled and financially unable to purchase their own wheelchairs over the past 10 years.
For every 210kg of high-density polystyrene bread tags collected, one wheelchair costing R1 600 can be bought for a person in need.
“The Breadtags for Wheelchairs Project has grown from humble beginnings in somebody’s home in Cape Town, to a volunteer effort involving thousands of volunteers around the country. Today, we are proud to say that we managed to divert more than four tons of polystyrene from our country’s landfills thanks to the 10 buyers of the breadtags made from high density polystyrene, more than 200 collection points and 1 000 coordinators who assist with breadtag collection,” Ms Spangenberg said.
DB’s collection efforts have resulted in wheelchairs for Dirk van Zyl of Geluksoord, Stellenbosch; Romeo Klaassen of Dorothea School, Stellenbosch; Inathi Klaushi of Bizweni Centre for Children with Disabilities, Somerset West; Lenie Botha of Huis Marie Louw, Strand; and DB contributed funds towards buying a wheelchair for Norman Wayhew of Goodwood.
“DB’s award was to thank him for the time and effort he puts in, to make this such a successful project. Without people like DB giving freely of their time, there would be no wheelchair handovers,” said PASA’s Natalie van der Westhuizen.