Donate your empties to help homeless animals in your community

In support of the places that rescue our furry friends, Empties for Paws will be holding its second annual Bottle Drive Blitz on the weekend of Feb. 25.

The Bottle Drive Blitz is aimed at encouraging Canadians to make the effort to donate their empty beer cans, beer bottles and wine and liquor bottles to raise money for animal rescues.

“It’s to try to get more people involved in donating their empties. So, if they can’t do it all year round, at least that one weekend is a big help and, again, [it’s] raising that awareness. A lot of people don’t even realize they can donate their empties or Canadian Tire money during the whole year and it helps the rescues with the bedding and cleaning the animals,” said Darlene Charman, media co-ordinator for Empties for Paws.

Many rescues across the country are involved with the drive, and some of them are even holding week-long events with the support of local businesses.

Though each individual beer can or bottle may just seem like pocket change, when donated, collectively it can add up to a lot. In Ontario, empty beer bottles and cans collect for ten cents while wine and liquor bottles are twenty cents. In Alberta, any drink container is refundable for a minimum of ten cents. An empty case of 24, is $2.40 that translates to three cans of cat food or one can of dog food.

Last year’s inaugural drive raised more than $2,000, but Charman believes the figure is much higher since some rescues did not report their figures.

“We raised the money, we also raised more awareness of what Empties for Paws is all about and that it’s not just that one weekend, we’re collecting empties year round,” added Charman.

Empties for Paws was started in Jan. 2015 by self-described animal lover Gisele Villeneuve. Villeneuve, who had been following the practice of donating empties herself for many years, started the organization realizing that a great deal of money could be raised for rescues and that many rescues collected empties. In 2015, Empties for Paws raised $12,927.

In the last year alone, the organization has grown a great deal and has expanded from Quebec and Ontario into New Brunswick and Alberta.

Today, they have over 65 animal rescues that are part of the initiative.

In total, last year, the organization raised $43,832.

The animal lovers have also, thanks to business sponsorships, created car magnets and stickers to spread the word and encourage more Canadians to donate their empties for rescued animals.

“They’re [rescues] already so busy rescuing the animals, getting the bedding, trying to feed them, to find them permanent homes; that any help they can get with fundraising, so this is one way of fundraising, helps them. The more money they can get, through something like this, the more animals they can rescue,” stated Charman.

For a complete list of all the animal rescues that take empties visit the Empties for Paws website.



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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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