Malawi kids need our old cans and bottles

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January 10, 2017 10:29 AM

Anyone looking to do some good can double down this weekend by bringing their empty cans and bottles to the Hands at Work bottle drive, where the throw-aways get recycled and help out children in Africa at the same time.
The drive takes place at Civic Tire on Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and will go toward supporting 200 kids in Malawi with a meal a day, school supplies and general medical care.
“It’s for the group Hands at Work that we run at Lloydminster Comprehensive High School (LCHS), and what the group does is it raises money for children in Africa; it’s a village called Malawi and it’s just sort of the kids that larger charity groups have written off, and so we raise money to provide them with education, healthcare and food,” said Ashley Klarenbach, teacher representative for Hands at Work.
“They get one meal a day because of this program, otherwise a lot of them would go with no meal, so we try to raise about $4,500 a year or more if possible and the bottle drive is just a fundraising event for that.”
The good thing about Hands at Work is it actually goes to the villages in person to distribute the funds raised, so people can feel safe their contributions are being used to help the children directly.
The activists, which include students and staff from LCHS, also take the opportunity to spend time and visit with the people they’re helping so they can get a sense of what they’re lives are actually like in these impoverished areas.
“Then what they will do is sort of solicit various groups to help fundraise and this year we do have two staff members and two students who want to go to Africa and see what it’s all about, so we’ll get a little more personal insight into that,” Klarenbach said, adding that Hands at Work aren’t directly affiliated with LCHS.
Some of the other fundraisers the group does are in-school events like bakes sales, a henna tattoo booth at the school’s May carnival, a scentsy fundraiser around Christmas time and an upcoming silent auction at Diverse, the school’s talent show, which’ll take place in March. 
Those who want to help out sooner rather than later, or just want to get the smelly old cans and bottles out of the house, can drop by Civic Tire Saturday, or swing by LCHS anytime this week, dropping them off directly to Klarenbach or Shannon Heath by calling 780-875-5513.

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