By Andrea Tomkins –
Citizen Advocacy’s bottle drive is coming up just in time to help residents deal with a few extra wine and beer bottles that may have accumulated over the Thanksgiving long weekend.
Citizen Advocacy Ottawa is a small, registered charity and is one of the few organizations that support people of all ages across the disability spectrum and their families.
According to Maria Redpath, Community Engagement Coordinator at Citizen Advocacy Ottawa, the bottle drive started two years ago when members of the Citizen Advocacy’s Consumer’s Advisory Committee (CAC) came forward with the idea of hosting a fundraiser for the organization that supports them. That “little” bottle drive grew quickly and proved to be popular. Now they’re doing it twice a year.
Last year’s bottle drive netted a record $768, which they’re hoping to beat this year.
Michelle Schafer is a volunteer “coach” with Citizen Advocacy. She supports the CAC by helping voice their concerns and bring forward issues that are important to people living with disabilities. She wants residents to know that this is an important fundraiser, for many reasons.
“This is a collective team effort,” says Michelle. “The individuals that sit on this committee are all individuals that have disabilities themselves. We come together and everybody rolls up their sleeves and it’s all hands on deck from promoting the event, to collecting bottles – sometimes even in our own neighbourhood – to sorting bottles right on site. Everybody has a job and everybody goes in knowing that this is something that is really important.”
Fortunately, the CAC has a few strong partnerships in the community, which are helpful on the day of the big event.
“The Beer Store on Scott Street, which is where we’re going to be, has graciously allowed us to be there and collect bottles,” says Michelle. “It’s a big commitment on behalf of their staff to allow us to do that so we’re very appreciative as an organization and as a group.”
“Starbucks at Holland Cross makes us coffee,” adds Joe Donegan, a member of the CAC. The committee members who are working the fundraiser will be suitably fueled up and ready to take donations.
Residents are encouraged to bring their empty beer and wine bottles to Beer Store Parking lot at 1546 Scott St. on October 15, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The CAC will also be accepting cash donations on that day. For more information about Citizen Advocacy Ottawa, go to citizenadvocacy.org.