April 2015: Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! has thrown its weight fully behind the #TBDAfrica (“The Blanket Drive”) for five years and this year it hopes to get more blankets than ever to the people who need them this winter.

With a new Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Menlyn having recently opened its doors in Pretoria, collections are set for a boost. Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Cape Town and Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch have already been collecting blankets for this huge Twitter initiative for a number of years.

“Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Menlyn is delighted to be a part of such a noble campaign that started so small and has been taken up by the South African Twitter community with such enthusiasm,” said Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Menlyn general manager Johan Cronje.

“Looking at how excited our STAFF and GUESTS have been about collecting blankets at our two sister hotels, I have no doubt that the people of Pretoria are going to take up the challenge with alacrity.”

#TBDAfrica started in 2001 when Melanie Minnaar (@melanieminnaar) called on the South African Twitter community to donate blankets to those in need. She hoped to get no more than 20 people together for a “Tweet-up” (a Twitter meet-up) where they would hand over blankets they were donating to a charity together. The idea went national and 700 blankets were collected. The next year 2 700 blankets were collected and every year the number has grown substantially.

All three Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! hotels are now collection points for blankets and individuals and companies are asked to drop their donations off at each. Last year Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Cape Town and Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch together collected more than 4000 blankets. These were distributed amongst four charities. They included, in Johannesburg, Seeds of Africa, Ark Animal Centre and Soul Food, a charity that collects and distributes supplies to approximately 30 shelters in the Witwatersrand region. In Cape Town, Operation Shoebox, which supports more than 5 000 children in the metropolitan area, benefitted from this blanket drive.

Danny Bryer, Protea Hotels Director of Sales, Marketing & Revenue, said: “We keep our GUESTS warm and happy, and we feel we’d like to extend that – to the small degree that we can – to people who are less fortunate and as a result struggle through the cold winters we have in South Africa.
“We are committed not only to GUESTS but also to the community in which we are lucky enough to operate. Giving something as tangible and useful as a blanket is the very least we can do and we urge our partners in the hospitality industry to support this brilliant cause.”

Blankets can be dropped off at Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Menlyn, Melrose Arch and Cape Town from this week until 28 May, when the blankets will be handed over to the selected charities.

Click here for more information about the 2015 TWITTER BLANKET DRIVE

Visit facebook.com/fireandice or follow @FireandIceMA, @FireandIceCT and @FireandIceME on Twitter and don’t forget to use the hashtag #TBD2015