On July 5, Ashley Bradley put out a call on her Instagram asking the Whitehorse community to donate their returnable recyclables.
Bradley is collecting cans, bottles and milk cartons to raise money for the Committee on Abuse in Residential Schools (CAIRS).
CAIRS was established in 1993 as a safe place for residential school survivors and their families to sit, talk, visit and work on arts and crafts together. It is a safe place for residential school survivors and their families.
Over the past couple of months of discoveries at residential schools, beginning with the discovery of the 215 children at the former Kamloops residential school, Bradley said it left her feeling pretty helpless.
After bringing in donations from her work to CAIRS, Bradley decided to do more.
“As I was at CAIRS, they were so lovely, and I realized it was not enough,” said Bradley. “They needed much more than that.
“I myself don’t have much money, so I thought how could I come up with money and get more people to give? I know people are giving lots right now but I thought, ‘Oh, recycling.’”
Bradley was also inspired to raise funds for CAIRS based on her own life experiences.
“I myself have had trauma in the past and it’s taken a long time,” said Bradley. “One thing I realized which I didn’t before was the cost of help. The cost of decent counselling is very expensive.
“Even if I can raise enough for one person to have that kind of help that’d be huge.”
Bradley said you can contact her through Facebook or Instagram and she will happily pick up the recyclables for you.
“Anyone that doesn’t want to go stand in line or doesn’t have a car I’m happy to do that hard work and bring in the donations.”
Raven Recycling and Zero Waste Yukon have also set up a donation account for CAIRS at its bottle depot. Members of the community are encouraged to donate their bottle deposits to this account.
This is where Bradley will be bringing the cans.
Bottles, cans and other returnable containers less than 750 millilitres get a five-cent refund, so to milk and milk substitute containers. Containers 750 ml or larger get a 25-cent refund.
“Sometimes people might be hesitant to donate for many reasons or don’t have enough to donate,” said Bradley. “But, a bag of cans here, a box of bottles there that adds up to quite a bit.”
Bradley said she’s going to approach locals bars and restaurants to see if they’d like to donate as well.
“Maybe they do one night where they can donate,” said Bradley. “It will add up.”
It’s a small thing she’s doing, said Bradley, but it’s the little acts that create something larger.
“Our federal government needs to do the bigger things but we can do the little things and create a stronger, healthier community from that,” said Bradley.
Bradley only recently started collecting cans, but said she will go as long as she can.
“I guess I’ll see how many people are interested,” said Bradley. “I have all the time in the world really. Maybe the next couple of months we’ll see what people do, what people think.”
Contact John Tonin at firstname.lastname@example.org