Photo: Joey Gale
Instead of tossing the bottle away with its cap still twisted, first-year Andrew Clark is asking students to keep the caps and turn them in to the Morehouse or Stalnaker lobby.
Last month, Clark started leading the Bottle Cap Initiative. In this project, every 1,000 bottle caps collected pays for the dialysis of a child whose family cannot afford it.
Clark was introduced to the Bottle Cap Initiative this summer by a coworker.
“I thought it would be an excellent way to give back to the community,” Clark said. “I thought Drake would offer the best opportunity to collect the most bottle caps.”
Right now, the caps go to St. Joseph Church, which is in Illinois. But Clark is unsure which organization it is forwarded to after that.
“Once I find out what organization it goes to, I plan to make it very public to the Drake community,” he said.
Since September, Clark, with the help of friends, his roommate Garrett Carty and the Morehouse Executive Council have collected about 4,000 bottle caps from students and faculty at Drake.
By the end of the semester, Clark’s goal is to collect 20,000 caps. At the rate that he’s at after just one month, Clark sees this to be a very possible goal to reach.
“Once people realized that when they recycle, but just take the caps off, the bucket fills up pretty quickly,” first-year Chris Fairbank said.
Fairbank also assisted Clark in going door-to-door requesting for caps. Other than the door-to-door fundraising, the project primarily relies on the responsibility of the Drake community to willingly turn in their caps.
There are buckets in Stalnaker and Morehouse to drop them off. The Morehouse Executive Council also collects caps every Sunday while they help recycle, and they average about 800 caps each time.
“I actually didn’t think this initiative would expand into what it has currently expanded to,” Clark said. “But there have been no difficulties with collecting the caps. People are so very willing to help in any way they can.”
With the 4,000 bottle caps that Clark and those helping him have collected so far, they have given four children free dialysis, saving their families as much as $1,200 each.
In eighth grade, a friend of Clark’s had passed away, and that is when he decided that he’s always wanted to lend a helping hand.
Well on his way to reaching his goal of 20,000 caps, Clark is doing just that. In fact, he may end up putting a total of $24,000 in the pockets of families he’s helped.