ROCHESTER, Michigan: What do you do with thousands of returnable cans and bottles during a pandemic?

If you’re among the hard-working and creative minds within Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan, you develop a whole new type of fundraiser for your organization: a Pop Can and Bottle Drive.

Then you turn those 10-cent bottles and cans into thousands of dollars to benefit your group’s community philanthropic programs.

Under the leadership of Tiffani Wolf, VP Resource Development,

Assistance League members held a Can and Bottle Drive fundraiser on May 25-26. Dozens of donors in their vehicles lined up outside the group’s Rochester warehouse all day long – from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. – dropping off returnable bottles and cans.

The following day, members went to their friends and neighbors, and collected even more returnables.

“We’re talking thousands of cans and bottles,” Wolf said, also crediting Assistance LeagueTreasurer Pat Quitter and longtime member Judy McWhirter with helping her develop their first-ever pop can and bottle fundraiser.

Then came the challenge of where to store the returnables until they could be sorted and turned in for cash. So, they rented two large storage units.

With the help of members and their spouses, volunteers filled up both storage units. Later, the returnables were sorted into large plastic bags and boxes. But then what? Stores weren’t accepting them because of the state’s pandemic restrictions.

Luckily, Powers Distributing came to the rescue when they offered to store the returnables at their Lake Orion facility. But first, they needed a final count. The tireless volunteers worked in the blazing heat to count, separate, load and transport the returnables. With three truckloads delivered and unloaded, their efforts earned them just over $7,000.

“Sure, it turned out to be more work than anticipated,” Wolf said. “But our dedicated volunteers went above and beyond to make sure everything was completed, and now that money will be used to support the programs that help people.”

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About Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan

Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan, founded in 1993 and serving Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), hands-on, all-volunteer organization whose mission is transforming the lives of children and adults through community programs. With no paid staff, funds raised remain in local Michigan communities, helping thousands of people in need year round.

For more information, please call or visit our store:

ReSale Connection

P.O. Box 80932

204 S. Main St.

Rochester, MI 48307

248-656-0414

(Federal Tax ID#: EIN 38-3181336)

AssistanceLeague.org/southeastern-michigan