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Fundraising can drive a commendable, sustainable idea

With the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily suspending returns of cans and bottles that consumers pay deposits on in Michigan, many people are likely facing a growing mountain of recyclables in their homes.

Some, in a desperate move to free up space, might consider tossing the cans and bottles in with the regular garbage to get rid of them.

However, there are better options for our Earth, our community and our homes than letting the pile grow or tossing them in the trash.

One of these options was available a week ago today at the Marquette Lions Lakeside Park, where the Marquette Lions Club held a returnable can and bottle drive to raise funds for pediatric cancer.

It allowed people to clear out the cans and bottles that were taking up space in their homes while ensuring these materials didn’t just head off to the landfill or end up along the roadside, according to a recent Mining Journal article by Journal Staff Writer Jackie Jahfetson.

It also ensured the deposits paid by beverage consumers were not wasted, as those can and bottle deposits will be donated to the Single District 10 Lions Club Pediatric Cancer project to benefit Upper Peninsula children who are fighting cancer.

While fundraising for pediatric cancer and raising awareness of the recently renamed Marquette Lions Lakeside Park were the main goals of the event, the benefits for the environment were a welcome side effect, Mary Rule, Marquette Lions Club member and committee chair of the can drive, told the Journal.

“We weren’t really thinking about (the) environment when we ran this can drive but it’s sad to say (that) all day today all I saw was cans alongside the streets and roads. … And I think people are getting very lackadaisical about storing their recyclables because they’re not able to return them, which is something of a byproduct of this, from my own awareness.”

All in all, over 2,560 cubic feet of bags filled with bottles and cans were collected during the drive.

This is an impressive amount of recyclable material that was prevented from entering the landfill and/or the environment, and the deposits on all of these cans and bottles will likely add up to a substantial sum for Single District 10 Lions Club Pediatric Cancer project when all is said and done.

We commend the Marquette Lions Club for its creative thinking and fundraising, as it found an incredible way to meet its fundraising needs while promoting recycling.

We applaud all who took the time to participate in this effort as donors or volunteers, as they’ve made a difference for local children battling cancer, as well as our environment.

Overall, we encourage other nonprofit organizations to consider holding a fundraiser of this type, as it can benefit all parties and allows just about anyone to become a donor, even when money is tight.

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