Southeastern Manitoba has become a huge supporter of Tabs for Wheelchairs, an organization that collects drink tabs to pay for wheelchairs for children in our province.
Gwen Buccini started the program 25 years ago in Winnipeg.
She credits Bob Barrow from Steinbach for spreading awareness and collecting tabs in Steinbach and surrounding communities.
She first met Barrow approximately seven years ago when he first discovered Tabs for Wheelchairs as he searched for a cause to accept a large collection of tabs.
“And he then started traveling, not just getting places in Steinbach galore, but then started traveling to all the towns and communities in the area.”
She says he is very organized, keeping track of every location and making sure tabs are picked up.
“Sixty-one places alone in Steinbach and then 78 more in all the surrounding 24 towns, like Ste. Anne, Anola, Ile des Chenes, La Broquerie, Landmark, Lorette, and I can go on and on.”
Buccini notes that schools also play a key role with many students participating in the collection of tabs.
She reports there are now 174 schools in Manitoba saving drink tabs and donating them to Tabs for Wheelchairs.
They are joined by 271 companies and various groups across the province.
Did you know...
Tabs can be coloured and come from pop cans, fruit cans, pet food cans, beer cans, etc.
Trailblazers Life Choices bags all the tabs for this program.
A total of 52 specialized wheelchairs have been presented in the last 24 years.
There are approximately 1,500 tabs in a pound.
To purchase a $6,000 wheelchair, it takes approximately 14 million tabs which equals to about 9,500 lbs.
To purchase a $10,000 wheelchair, it takes approximately 24 million tabs which equals to about 16,000 lbs.