On Saturday, July 31, 2021 “Cans for Kids” will celebrate 3 years of success and growing participation.
During the short time the program has been in operation, it has generated nearly $65,000 for projects and programs benefiting the youth of the Illinois Valley, including the Dome School, I.V. Little League, Rusk Ranch Nature Center, I.V. Farmers’ Market, RiverStars Performing Arts and others.
“Cans for Kids” is a program of Illinois Valley Community Development Organization (IVCanDO) and was created by Kate Dwyer based on a school project by her son, Owen Dwyer during the time she was doing program development while on IVCanDo staff.
Now Four Way Foundation Executive Director, Dwyer stated, “We all knew there was an opportunity here to turn deposit containers into support for youth, but this program has exceeded everyone’s expectations thanks to the generosity of Illinois Valley residents.”
Funds earned by IV Little League volunteers have improved their program and made it more available according to volunteer Amy Schell-Lapora. “This has been a great support to IV Little League programs. The program has allowed our league to raise money to reduce registration fees, provide financial aid and buy equipment for our teams. It has also helped to fund field improvements at Jubilee Park. It’s a great way for the community to support our kids and creates new opportunities for the youth organizations of our community to expand and improve their programs. When the youth are supported, the entire community benefits.”
IV Little League volunteer Richard Milner was also pleased by community support stating, “It’s been successful for Little League, we’ve done the program several times and when folks see that Little League will be collecting, the cans come in by the truckload.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Dome School administrator Susan Gustafson who said, “We are very grateful for this fundraising opportunity. It was our main fundraiser during the COVID pandemic, since we weren’t able to do our regular events. We’re also grateful to the public for supporting us by bringing their bottles and cans, as well as helping us sort them.”
“The IVCanDonate “Cans for Kids” program is instrumental for funding the Cave Junction Farmers’ Market “Cultivate Kids” program. Every market we give 40 kids a free take home project, from ‘grow your own pickles’, oyster mushroom kits, and strawberry plants, to raising lacewings, mealworms, and free tool giveaways! The kids we encounter are excited to learn sustainable farming techniques through fun weekly projects. Cans for Kids is an amazing asset to our community!” stated Alisa Ocean, Market Manager.
This program would not be possible without the power of partnerships. Initial funding of over $5,300 was provided by the Carpenter Foundation and $500 from Southern Oregon Sanitation. The branding and whimsical mural was painted by Southern Oregon Artist, Dallion McGregor with funding from the Josephine County Cultural Coalition and several local donors. The donation station is located behind the Oregon Caves Chevron and is hosted by owner, Jeff Stiles. Kenny Houck, executive director for IVCanDO states: “Jeff Stiles is one of the most solid business partners in Cave Junction. He continually supports community work and we would not be able to do this without him. His ongoing support is what makes Cans for Kids the sustainable program that it is.”
Bring your OR 10 cent deposit bottles and cans to the donation station Saturdays from 10:00-1:45. Join us July 31st at 10:00 AM to celebrate 3 years of community powered fundraising for the Illinois Valley youth.