When asked how she feels about the Cartridges for Kids recycling program at Gull Lake Middle School, Kimberly Ginn said, “I think this is the best fundraiser kids can be doing!” Seven years ago, Kimberly devoted herself to helping her daughter’s class raise money and has now led the recycling program in 3 different schools. She found CFK to be a perfect fit with her personal goals of promoting awareness for recycling and saving the planet.
To introduce the recycling program to Gull Lake Middle School, Ginn challenged the students to a collection contest and offered prizes as incentives. She also registered the school as a local recycler at www.earth911.com. Articles about the program were written in a local church and school district newsletters, as well as in the local newspaper. The school also developed a point system where each day of the week was designated as a specific recycle day like Monday as Cell Phone Day, Tuesday as Laptop Day, etc. The students were then involved in tallying their collection and weekly winners were rewarded with a scrambled egg breakfast! The overall class winners were given a cloth recycled bag with a seed starter kit, a Save the Earth wrist band, a free day pass for their families to the local nature center, and an evergreen seedling to plant at home.
Kimberly Ginn also bought 138 evergreen seedlings for the school with the proceeds from their recycling collection contest. The Conservation Department worked with the school and both parties were pleased to save the trees from bad weather and promote the “Love Your Earth” program at the school.
With the help of a teacher, school staff, the PTO, and parent volunteer Ashley Hamman, Kimberly was able to keep fliers readily available at special events like Open House and also at an information kiosk near the school office. Business sponsors were also approached in person and several agreed to help. The recycling group was able to enlist the support of the local grocery store, coffee shop, city offices, two churches, and an electronic store. Kimberly felt that talking to the business owners or managers face-to-face was the key to gaining their involvement
All-in-all, the Gull Lake Middle School’s first semester of recycling with Cartridges for Kids was a great success! Money was raised, trees were planted, students were educated, involved and rewarded, and Kimberly Ginn gained a new nickname--“The Recycling Lady”. Not bad!