Habitat for Humanity reaches aluminum can recycling goal

In June 2001, the Grand Island Area Habitat for Humanity in Nebraska set out to raise $500,000 through the collection of aluminum cans. At five cents each, it seemed like a lofty goal, but the organization has finally met its goal and will use the funds to buy construction materials and other important items that are essential to fulfilling the group's mission of helping the less fortunate, according to The Independent.

"We've been anxiously awaiting the day when the can program met this mark," Dana Jelinek, executive director, told the news source. "So many people throughout Central Nebraska have made this possible. It goes to show you how much can be done by working together."

The initiative started as a grant program called Cans for Habitat, and the organization reached out to businesses in the community to collect aluminum cans. While the program started out slow, donations increased exponentially over the past few years and more than 21 million cans have been donated thus far. In a fitting fashion, the can that helped the group reach the $500,000 mark was donated by Joe Bartz, a grandson of LeRoy and Arlene Kramer, whose business was one of the first to begin donating to the cause.

Habitat for Humanity's recycling initiative is one of the many ways that a charitable organization can raise money and help the environment at the same time. These spent materials can be recycled to buy a whole range of products that can help Nebraska families, and remove tons of unwanted waste from local landfills. While the program initially started out small, it has grown to be a boon for the local community and has helped to give many low-income families a home they would have otherwise been unable to afford.