The spirit of community outreach blazes on at UJ

Well-meaning staff and students at the School of Tourism and Hospitality (STH) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), keen to do their bit for the environment and good causes, collected plastic bottle tops and bread tags as part of a community outreach project.

Inspired by the idea that a simple plastic bread tag or bottle top can help change the life of a less fortunate person, Mr Pieter van der Westhuizen, a senior lecturer in Hospitality Management at STH, who together with staff and students, collected more than a half a ton of tops that come from plastic bottles and the tags that are used to seal the plastic-coverings of loaves of bread, in aid of the ‘Tops & Tags initiative that gives back to the community and assists in the preservation of the environment.

‘Tops & Tags’, in partnership with the Sweetheart Foundation, collects and recycles bread tags and plastic bottle tops in exchange for wheelchairs.

The Foundation has been elated by STH’s contribution and have donated an additional wheelchair to the University’s team. The handover took place the STH Ngeythu Restaurant on Thursday, 18 May 2017.

“In the spirit of giving, our pledge of the wheelchairs goes to the Hospice and Rehabilitation Centre in the Alexandra community,” says Dr Diane Abrahams, the Director of STH, UJ.

Mr van der Westhuizen pointed out that “the Alex Hospice and Rehabilitation Centre is the only one of its kind in the township. The Centre takes care of out-patient and in-patient, some with terminal conditions and some whom receive disability grants. Through STH’s engagements with the Centre, which is part of the School’s community engagement projects, we have identified that there is a dire need for a donation like this. These wheelchairs will aid the Centre in assisting those patients who cannot afford their own.”

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