We are already two weeks into 2017!
I watched the year turn from 2016 to 2017. The seconds ticked towards midnight. 10, 9,8…seven more seconds of 2016 left. I had incredible things happen to me in 2016, there were also tears, frustrations, those frissons of complete and utter joy, sorrow and excitement. 2016 was…it was an eventful year.
…5,4,3, 2 Glory, you will never live in this year again…1.
I entered into 2017.

What will 2017 hold for me, I wonder?
I would like to live each day to the full so that I lie in bed at night with a feeling of satisfaction enveloping me. I wonder if, at the start of March, that feeling will still be in place. Glory, I hope so.

The thing with New Year resolutions is that we break them so easily. Resolutions: to give up chocolate, to drink alcohol only at weekends, to lose weight, to go to gym three times a week, to mow the lawn every weekend, to have a carb-free diet…etc, etc and etc! Have you broken your New Year resolutions already???

I have an idea for a resolution that does away with the: ‘I must stick to my New Year’s resolution. I mustn’t eat that! Oh glory, I wish I could…..’.
Just listen to this resolution! It is so easy to do, costs nothing, helps the environment, enriches the lives of people in a worse situation than yourself and best of all, requires little effort.
‘Oh glory, you’re thinking, what has Gaynor got up her sleeve now?’
Just sit back and ‘listen’!

Imagine what it’s like being paralysed. After my accident, I was unable to walk. Initially I was confined to a bed but gradually as I improved, I was fortunate to have the use of a wheelchair. I have a dim recollection of being wheeled around by my family and friends. I was lucky in that I began physiotherapy and learnt again how to stand and finally to walk.
But what if you are permanently disabled, unable to walk and cannot afford a wheelchair? My heart squeezes at the thought. How confined and limited ones world must be!

So what have wheelchairs got to do with my ‘can’t fail’ New Year’s resolution?

Let me introduce you to Mary Honeybun.

During her nursing career, Mary came to realise how vital it was both physically and emotionally, for a disabled person to have the mobility that a wheelchair can provide. The burden on the family of a disabled person can be remarkably eased by this. The majority of people in need of wheelchairs are often unable to afford to buy their own. Retired from nursing, Mary pondered this problem. There had to be a solution.

Opening a loaf of bread one day, Mary took off the bread tag and threw it away. She stopped and turned back towards the bin. She removed the soiled bread tag, washed it and sat down at her table and stared at it. Slowly she turned the bread tag in her fingers. Could this have some sort of value? She investigated and yes, they were made of high impact polystyrene that had terrific recycling value. They could be transformed into seedling trays, picture frames, coat hangers and…and….EUREKA! Mary had found her answer.  She would collect bread tags which she would sell to a recycler.
The wheelchair smiled beckoningly at her!

The word spread: Keep your bread tags and send them to Mary!
It takes 200 bread bags full of tags or 200 kg of tags to bring in enough money to buy one wheelchair. Incredibly to date, Mary has provided over 629 wheelchairs for disabled people.

I am incredibly moved by this woman’s accomplishments. She finished her nursing career. She should have been relaxing and enjoying time to herself. But she saw individuals in real need. Instead of sitting back, happily enfolded in her own snug cocoon, she set out to provide wheelchairs for disabled people that were desperate for them.

Little things lead to big things. Mary has proved that to me. One bread tag, became 10 bread tags, became 100 breadtags, became a 1000 ……and eventually became a wheelchair! We underestimate the value of little things in life. Mary made a decision that seemed almost pointless. She began collecting bread bag tags. And has ended up creating so much joy.
Little things lead to big things!

So, every loaf of bread I buy, I will be saving the tag. When my tag collection grows, I will post them off to Mary with the biggest smile in my heart.
I will be taking part in creating that joy that Mary is spreading!

This is my resolution for 2017.
Why not join me and make it yours!


For more information about Mary’s initiative including details of bread tags collection points go to http://www.breadtagsforwheelchairs.co.za/