A charity drive hosted by Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in partnership with Tuks FM, has resulted in a huge amount of goods collected for disadvantaged students of the University of Pretoria (UP).

The ‘Back to School’ campaign called upon students, residents of Pretoria and businesspeople to contribute groceries, toiletries and blankets, among others, which will be donated, through Tuks FM, to UP’s Student Representative Council (SRC) to benefit students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The official handover of goods took place at Tuks FM’s studios on Monday.

Menlyn Park general manager, Olive Ndebele said the partnership with Tuks FM was part of their strategy to work with community media. “A lot of students aren’t financially able to support themselves. They may manage to pay their university fees, but can’t afford accommodation, food, stationery and toiletries. We thought we could get our customers to assist by donating items.”

She thanked Tuks FM and the community of the University of Pretoria for allowing Menlyn to be part of the initiative. “We are not just a shopping centre, we are about lifestyle, and lifestyle means also making positive contributions to the communities in which we operate. So students and education is something that is very close to our heart.”

Leanne Kunz, Tuks FM’s Station Manager, said they were very happy with the outcome of the campaign and would look to make the event an annual occurrence. “Tuks FM has always strived to improve the lives of the community it serves, a large part of which is made up of students of the University of Pretoria. We teamed up with Menlyn for this wonderful initiative because we understand that large parts of the student fraternity and their families are only just keeping their heads above water, considering the high cost of tertiary education.”

“We are ecstatic to be able to help students in any way we can, and even though it’s just a drop in the ocean, every little bit helps. We hope to be able to lighten the load for these students so that they can focus all their attention on completing their studies and reaching their full potential, as opposed to worrying about their next meal,” Kunz said.

The donations are being stored at Tuks FM’s offices in the interim. They will be collected and distributed to students by the SRC.