No hurdle too high for bottle top collectors

2016-11-22 06:00
These children collected enough bottle tops to contribute to donating two wheelchairs.

These children collected enough bottle tops to contribute to donating two wheelchairs.

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Children from Bergvliet who collected more than 300 000 bottle tops to contribute to donating a wheelchair are over the moon that their hard collection work has paid off.

After 34 weeks of collecting bottle tops they blew their first target of 50 000 tops out of the water. They handed over two wheelchairs to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and St Joseph’s Home for chronically ill children on Saturday 5 November.

They started collecting bottle caps in February (“Bottling up goodwill”, People’s Post, 5 July).

Five of the children who started the collection are Ethan Solomon (8), Jared Heeger (9), Kairo Arendse (4), Josh Heeger (4) and Erin Heeger (11). Along the way other children joined in.

Deidre Solomon, Ethan’s mother, says the idea came about when she told him they were collecting caps at her work.

“Immediately he said he wanted to do it as well to help a child with a wheelchair. I made enquiries and we were told to collect 50 000 tops in order to get a wheelchair. That’s how he got his team together and they started collecting.

“When he got to 46 000 I made contact with them again. We were then told that the management had decided to increase the total to 150 000. I must say it was very disappointing; to think we were that close and now the number had been tripled. The goal post had been moved for my son, but that didn’t stop him,” she says.

“Picking up these caps became so much a part of us that collecting was much easier than giving up. It become a habit for the children, so they had to continue picking them up.

“Ethan was so excited. He loved it so much. It also shows the result of the hard work we put in for so many months. I’m so glad that it worked out,” she says.

“We got help from strangers to family. It was amazing to see the kind of response and eagerness to reach the target of 150 000 caps. In the end we collected over 370 000 tops and we were able to hand over two wheelchairs.

“What was even more amazing was that we met new people along the way who were very encouraging and had sweet messages for the kids to keep collecting. Counting those hundreds and thousands of tops was really worth it. Nothing could beat the joy on their faces when they finally handed over the wheelchairs,” says Solomon.

Now that they have tasted success they are setting the bar even higher: next year their aim is to collect enough bottle tops for four wheelchairs.

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