Powellhurst-Gilbert can drive to fund neighborhood events

What to do with all of those return-deposit cans and bottles from your ‘Super Football’ party last weekend?  Recycle them here, and help a good cause …

Tom Barnes of the Powellhurst Gilbert Neighborhood Association gets help at a can drive from Donna Dionne, who’s with Love Boutique and is a board member of the Midway Business Association.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Not satisfied to wait for City funding, folks from the Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association have come up with what seems, so far, to be a good way to raise money for their projects.

On the second and fourth Sunday of the month, you’ll find them accepting return-deposit cans and bottles along SE 122nd Avenue, south of SE Division Street, in the Sears parking lot.

“We were brainstorming about how to raise funds for our projects,” said organizer Tom Barnes with the Powellhurst Gilbert Neighborhood Association (and current Spirit of Portland Emerging Neighborhood Leader winner) at their last collection event.

“Since the neighborhood grants programs, and other City funds, are being cut back due budgetary problems,” Barnes explained. “We’ve been trying to come up with out-of-the-box thinking to support our programs in the neighborhood.”

Local businessperson Bill Buchert of Footprint Designs drops off return-deposit bottles and cans.

For a moment, they considered going door-to-door soliciting deposit-return cans. “But we decided it was better to have a centralized location – and collect them at regular, predictable intervals,” Barnes told us. “We’ve only been at it for a couple of events, and it’s gotten progressively better and better. Yes, it involves some work, but we’ve already turned in about $200 from our efforts, so far.”

The funds will be used for Neighborhood Night Out and Movie in the Park programs, we learned – which include free hot dogs, sodas and other fun activities. “One of our big expenses is obtaining the bicycle helmets we give, free, to kids who come to these events,” elucidated Barnes. “Any money that’s left over will go to our Graffiti Clean-up program, and our ‘Adopt-a-Drain’ program.”

An area homeowner, Mike Johnson, delightfully surprises the P-G Can Crew with a load of deposit-return containers. “I came because I saw a flyer at Daylight Doughnuts, across the street.”

Next collection drive is February 13
“We’re hoping that, after Super Bowl® Sunday, people keep their bottles and cans for us – and that we will have a banner collection, at our next event!” Barnes enthused.

From 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., you’ll find them in the Sears parking lot at 2626 SE 122nd Avenue (just south of Pizza Baron). For more information, contact Tom Barnes by email at omdy12@gmail.com, or see the PGNA Website: CLICK HERE.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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