Tabs keep kids and ‘life’ alive

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By KA­T­RINA LINTONBON

Len Er­ick­son is the type of guy who likes to keep busy – he also likes to help peo­ple.

Put those two con­cepts to­gether and you get a man who is con­stantly do­ing things to ben­e­fit oth­ers.

For the past nine years Mr Er­ick­son has spent many an hour rip­ping the tabs off alu­minium cans.

He pulls his lit­tle stool out and with the pa­tience of a saint sits and re­moves the tabs.

To date the Ti­rau Lions Club mem­ber has con­trib­uted more than 50 kilo­grams of tabs to Kan Tabs for Kid­ney Kids.

‘‘About 3500 tabs give a child with a kid­ney dis­or­der an hour on dial­y­sis,’’ he said.

‘‘This is my way of mak­ing a lit­tle dif­fer­ence.’’

Kan Tabs for Kid­ney Kids is an ini­tia­tive sup­ported by Lions clubs through­out New Zealand.

Founded in 1990, Kid­ney Kids is a not-for-profit par­ent driven or­gan­i­sa­tion that as­sists par­ents of chil­dren who have kid­ney dis­or­ders.

Kid­ney Kids pro­vides reg­u­lar newslet­ters, in­for­ma­tion and re­sources re­gard­ing kid­ney dis­or­ders and or­gan­ises an­nual camps for chil­dren who may not be able to at­tend or­di­nary school camps be­cause of their med­i­cal needs.

Most im­por­tantly Kid­ney Kids of­fers sup­port for fam­i­lies through reg­u­lar meet­ings, so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties and ed­u­ca­tion evenings where par­ents can meet a spe­cial­ist to talk about their child’s con­di­tion.

Cans get dropped off to Mr Er­ick­son by the bag load. He has also started col­lect­ing wine bot­tle tops.

If you have any you would like to do­nate, please drop them to Jan­ice King at Mata­mata Count­down.

There are also a num­ber of other Mata­mata res­i­dents who col­lect can tabs in­clud­ing the great-grand­daugh­ters of the late Brian Cooper.

Mr Cooper used to spend hours each day gath­er­ing can tabs to do­nate to the Kan Tabs for Kid­ney Kids ini­tia­tive.

Mr Cooper’s grand­daugh­ter Jan­ice Nelmes said he loved chil­dren and peo­ple in gen­eral and was al­ways look­ing for ways to help oth­ers.

‘‘It was his way of do­ing his bit for kids on dial­y­sis,’’ she said.

Since his death Mrs Nelmes’ daugh­ters Ri­han and Emilee have been col­lect­ing can tabs which are picked up from Mata­mata Pri­mary School.

‘‘We all just adored him. He was 80 years old and would still be do­ing flips out on the front lawn with Emilee,’’ Mrs Nelmes said.

‘‘This is our way of keep­ing grand­dad’s mem­ory alive.’’

Can tabs or wine bot­tle tops can also be dropped off at the Mata­mata Chron­i­cle of­fice.

Col­lec­tor: Len Er­ick­son with just some of the tabs he has taken from alu­minium cans.

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