Plastic is fantastic but perhaps only when it connects children in a way such as was witnessed at the PnA and Sweethearts Foundation’s 18th wheelchair handover.
Codi Smith, 11, was born with spina bifida, a condition that prevents his spine from forming properly.
Yet it is only his body that is in the wheelchair, as this young man’s heart, mind and spirit go beyond his physical restraints at the thought of helping others in similar situations to his.
“He knows it’s amazing to give a child legs. Some angels have wings and others have wheels and my child is an earth angel,” said Codi’s mom, Carmen Smith.
The latest wheelchair recipient, 5-year old Lulo Vena, has cerebral palsy . He is the smiling, happy child with whom Codi Smith made a connection – a connection made possible through, of all things, plastic bread tag and bottle top recycling.
Smith, encouraged and accompanied by his grandmother Rose Smith, makes regular trips to PnA Stationers to drop off the caps and bread tags collected from family and friends.
Vena attends His Hands Care Centre which is a non-profit organisation based in Southernwood. It provides a safe and loving environment for children with disabilities and offers individualized programs based on each child’s cognitive abilities enabling them to develop and flourish at their own pace and reach their full potential.
Vena was nominated by His Hands Care Centre manager and board member Martinette Faure who says that he is fully aware of his surroundings and is able to speak a word or two when needed.
“He follows everything when you talk to him and he shows things by signs and certain words,” said Vena’s mother, Zimkitha.
Zimkitha was overjoyed to see her son receive the specialised and custom-made Madiba2Go Buggy by ShonaQuip.
The buggy was sponsored by The Page Group Directors and owners of PnA Stationers East London, Darrel and Gussie Eberhardt.
Smith’s exemplary attitude and efforts should be an encouragement and a challenge to other children and also to adults. As too should be Vena’s attitude of smiling in the face of adversity.
#TagYoureIt – You can tag along with Codi by following his example and drop off your Sweethearts Foundation contributions at PnA Stationers, 98 Old Transkei Road, Nahoon.
BY: Wendy Kretschmann