• Sutton Group Realty

Tabs for Wheelchairs Improves Lives of Children with Disabilities

Edmonton, AB – Dave Harback, with help from mortgage broker Mike Brennan, clients, his 11-year- old granddaughter and caring Edmontonians, last week finished collecting 81,700 aluminum can tabs weighing 53.8 pounds. Dave donates the tabs to the Holy Cross School in Winnipeg, which in turn sells the metal for scrap to fund specialized wheelchairs.

Since 2000, the school has purchased 16 wheelchairs for children with disabilities and recently announced the 17th recipient. Dave has participated in this fundraiser for several years.

“The 2015-2016 Tabs for Wheelchairs Campaign ended on May 16, 2016 and it was a huge success,” says Dave, who ramped up his involvement last fall by giving special collection jars to clients and friends. He also reached out to Welcome Wagon to distribute the jars. His goal was to have 200 families in the Edmonton area saving tabs.

“It was wonderful to see people new to the community join in and help us collect these tabs. I got calls weekly from people asking me to pick up their full jars. A special thank you to Mike Brennan, husband of our Broker Shelagh Brennan, for being so involved in this project. Mike will be delivering our collected tabs to the school in Winnipeg."

Dedicated donors funnel millions of tabs to Holy Cross School each year. The concept took a leap of imagination. Holy Cross School decided to collect tabs rather than the whole can to reduce storage space and because there are refund programs in place for the cans. Recycling aluminum pays approximately 60 cents per pound.

According to statistics from the school, there are approximately 1,500 tabs in a pound. To purchase a $6,000 wheelchair, the school requires approximately 14 million tabs, which is nearly 9,500 pounds. To purchase a $10,000 wheelchair requires approximately 24 million tabs or 16,000 pounds.

Amazingly, the school has been able to buy 16 wheelchairs in the past 17 years. Typically, the recipients are chosen by the Rehabilitation Centre for Children in Winnipeg. The next recipient is Delany, a teenager with Gorlin syndrome and scoliosis. Although the Manitoba government supplies wheelchairs, they do not fund specialized types. The tabs program improves the daily lives of children coping with disabilities.

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