Story behind pink trees
Pink Trees for Pauline is at it again, wrapping trees in pink cloth to raise awareness during October, which is also known as cancer month.
The NPO’s purpose is to create awareness, unite communities and raise funds to ensure access to cancer treatment for all affected by all types of cancer.
Five years ago, Carol-Ann van Jaarsveldt, after losing her mother and her grandmother, both named Pauline, to cancer, acted on her dream to communicate the legacy of these two women and made it a reality in her hometown Graaff-Reinet. To raise cancer awareness, all the trees along the roads in Graaff-Reinet were wrapped in pink material.Then in 2012 she, together with Adri van Nieuwenhuizen, managing director of the organisation and a breast cancer survivor, and Dr Pam Kerr, an educational psychologist, officially founded the organisation Pink Trees for Pauline. In 2015, the Cancer Association of SA (Cansa) came on board.
Gerda Strauss, Cansa’s head of services delivery, said, “Cansa staff and volunteers embraced this wonderful project and sold about 2 000m of pink cloth, turning small towns and cities into a pink paradise last year.”
She said the profit they made during last year’s campaign is set aside for patient accommodation during cancer treatment, home-based nursing, feeding schemes for cancer-affected patients, supplying wigs and prostheses, and for training social workers.
Van Nieuwehuizen said, “There is power in unity, which was again proven during the 2016 campaign working with Cansa and so many others,” adding that it is a privilege working with like-minded people who share the same vision.
“We’ve managed to raise R900 000 for all kinds of cancer since the inception of the organisation and more than 150 towns have participated,” she said.
As to what happens to all the cloth at the end of cancer month, Van Nieuwenhuizen said that all pink material must be removed, recycled or donated to other organisations.
* Businesses who are interested in joining the initiative and want to buy the material can contact Charmaine Kruger, a member of the organisation based in Knysna, on 082 442 8509, or email email@example.com. Alternatively, email Adri van Nieuwehuizen on firstname.lastname@example.org and read up more about the organisation on www.pinktrees.co.za .
A beautiful example of the impact of the Pink Trees for Pauline campaign as seen on the Antonij Rupert Wines in Franschhoek, Western Cape.