Neighborhood project ‘counts on cans’ to fund its efforts

See why you should gather up your deposit-return bottles and cans, and take them to this Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood collection effort. And, you may also want to pitch in at a jointly-run neighborhood clean-up …

Volunteers Donna Dionne and Thomas Barnes sort through some of the hundreds of deposit-return bottles and cans folks have dropped off to help fund Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood projects.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
For a couple of years now, committees of the Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association have benefitted financially from the volunteer labor of Thomas Barnes (a “Spirit of Portland” honoree), Donna Dionne, and others.

“We have several projects for which we’re raising money,” Barnes said. “One is putting up street sign ‘toppers’ to help identify the neighborhood. Money we get from turning in deposit-return bottles and cans also helps fund our graffiti-abatement and clean-ups.”

But, that’s not all, Barnes continued. “Some of the money supports our annual National Night Out event, supplementing funds we’ve received from the City of Portland’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement East Portland Small Grant Program.”

An empty deposit-return can might not seem like much – but they do add up, and provide hundreds of dollars that supports outer East Portland projects.

And, during September and October, a portion of their proceeds will be awarded to the outer East Portland Division-Midway Alliance affiliate of the City of Portland’s Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative, Barnes noted.

For more information, contact Tom Barnes by email at, or see the PGNA Website: CLICK HERE.

It’s certainly not a glamorous volunteer job, but Thomas Barnes appears to enjoy his volunteer effort.

Next PGNA Neighborhood Can Drive – October 14
From 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Sunday October 14, bring your deposit-return bottles and cans (the containers with a 5-cent deposit) in the Sears parking lot at 2626 SE 122nd Avenue (just south of Pizza Baron). Check our Community Calendar to see other dates they’ll be out collecting bottles and cans.

Neighborhood Clean-up coincides with ‘Can Drive’
Also on October 14 – during the same hours as their Can/Bottle Drive – join with neighbors and business people to clean up the streets on either side of SE Division Street and SE 122nd Avenue.

During their “Take Pride in your Neighborhood” event, they’ll be picking up trash and removing graffiti, making this outer East Portland street a cleaner and safer place. All supplies are provided, but if you have your own gloves or other items, bring ’em. Lunch will be provided. Families are welcome. All volunteers must complete a SOLV waiver form, either online or at the event (online registration ended October 7).

Dress for the weather! They’ll be meeting at the PIZZA BARON parking lot.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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