Pop tabs help fund wheelchairs for children in need

(Submitted photo)

Growing up in the Philippines with cerebral palsy, Marlon Jr. had very limited mobility and was unable to enjoy simple childhood pastimes. That all changed in June when he received a Little Wave “Clik” pediatric wheelchair courtesy of the Tabs for Wheelchairs program organized by the Holy Cross School in Winnipeg. The school collected enough tabs to also provide a wheelchair to the Manitoba Wheelchair Sport Association. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Tabs for Wheelchairs. It relies entirely on the efforts of individuals who collect and donate tabs from cans.

Dave Harback was moved to hear about this program and for the past five years, he has saved tabs and encouraged others to do the same.

“This year’s total is 107.6 pounds,” said Harback, who appreciates support from his family, friends, clients, colleagues at Sutton – Premiere Real Estate and mortgage broker Mike Brennan.

Recently, a new ally appeared.

Marlon Jr.“An incredible woman, Corrina Schlauch, contacted me just before Christmas and really wanted to join in the tab collection program. Together we created materials to hand out to the kids at King Edward School in Edmonton. A lot of the kids got busy collecting the tabs and on June 18, 2018, I picked up 30.5 pounds of tabs from the school—after collecting for just six months!”

Dave is pleased to report that the 107.6 pounds collected this year brings the three-year total to more than 300 pounds. This contribution will help to purchase a wheelchair in 2019. Holy Cross School recently announced that their next recipient will be a five-year-old girl from Brandon, Manitoba.

She is described as full of life and humour with a sparkling personality. She also has CHARGE syndrome, which is a rare and complex condition involving extensive physical difficulties. In addition, she was born with severe heart defects and suffered a devastating stroke. Harback said he is hoping to involve more local schools and clients in the quest to collect more tabs and help more children to gain greater independence.

This story was adapted – with permission – from one originally featured on the Sutton Spirit website. The Sutton Spirit program recognizes Sutton associates across Canada that improve and enhance the lives of the people around them.

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