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Collect tags and tops – its the sweet thing to do

The organisation collects a significant number of bread tags and plastic bottle tops – a standard wheelchair is funded through 1 750kg of bottle tops or 350kg of bread tags.

SINCE its establishment on Valentine’s Day in 2013, The Sweethearts Foundation has provided 498 bespoke wheelchairs to individuals across the country.

The organisations’ volunteers, sweetly named ‘Sweethearts’, range from everyday volunteers to high-ranking individuals who juggle work, family, and helping others. They are trying to get more volunteers from Durban to join their network of sweethearts.

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They collect a significant number of bread tags and plastic bottle tops from various individuals, schools and organisations from around the country which are then recycled by local recycling companies, who in return, pay The Sweethearts Foundation.

“We pool all collections from around the country together and allocate the funding to manufacture a wheelchair for the beneficiary currently at the top of our waiting list.

“Over the year, we have dealt with many Durban contributors and even had a huge campaign all over Durban during lockdown, trying to get our name out there. We would really like to grow our support from the city,” said Jessica Gordon, manager for The Sweethearts Foundation.

“We believe that many more people could benefit from our services if they knew about us,” she added.

“However, we work on a case-to-case basis with a team of occupational therapists who recommend the best-suited wheelchair for each beneficiary. We use 450kg or 50kg as a benchmark to give people something to work towards, but it often takes more,” added Gordon.

Another thing to remember is that you should only collect bottle tops with a #2 or #5 resin, which is the little recycling number on the bottle top.

“As a rule of thumb, we always tell Sweethearts that ‘if you can drink the product, you can keep the lid’. This excludes household detergents, peanut butter, and mayonnaise lids, among others. Absolutely no metal tops, lids or caps at all,” she said.

There are currently two collection points in Durban – one in Musgrave and the other in Tongaat.

“We would recommend you contact your closest collection point ahead of time to confirm the exact address and a suitable time and date of delivery. If you don’t have a collection point nearby, you can become an official collection point for The Sweethearts Foundation. By doing so, you’ll be helping us collect and recycle precious #TopsandTags that can make a big difference in the lives of others,” she said.

To sign up, visit https://sweetheartsfoundation.org/ and click on ‘Your Help’. Alternatively, cash donations can be made to:
Account Name: The Sweethearts Foundation
Bank: First National Bank
Account number: 62503233934
Online Code: 254005
Reference: Name + Surname (and don’t forget to email your POP to jessica@sweetheartsfoundation.org)


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