Two good years of fundraising means members of the Woodland Park High School S.O.S. Club are ready to share the wealth.
Last year, almost as an an afterthought, the club handed out two $100 grants to student groups with environmental projects.
“One grant went to Gateway Elementary School’s butterfly garden,” said club staff adviser Kendall Hovel. “The other one went to Caleb Kettler’s middle school students to buy light-switch covers.”
Starting earlier this year, club members plan to make $100 grants to projects in each of the district’s five school buildings.
The deadline is March 7. Applications have been emailed to teachers and club sponsors but those who didn’t receive an application can request one from Hovel.
S.O.S. stands for Save Our Society. The club was formed in the late 1980s as a social club but has since gravitated toward preserving the environment, Hovel said
“We’d like to find a new name that preserves the S.O.S. initials but represents what we really do,” he said.
In its ongoing efforts to help preserve the environment, the club will collect electronic waste from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on May 5 in the WPHS parking lot. Cripple Creek-Victor High School students will also be collecting e-waste at the same time in their parking lot. Net proceeds from these events will be turned over to the high-school environmental clubs.
As part of the fundraiser kickoff, Blue Star Recyclers community outreach coordinator Laura Chickering spoke to S.O.S. Club members Feb. 14 about ethical e-waste recycling, how it works and why it’s important.
Blue Star’s program kept more than 1 million pounds of electronic-waste out of local landfills last year, Chickering said.
“Our workers are mostly middle- to high-functioning autistic people,” she said. “They have an exemplary work ethic. ... They earn paychecks and pay taxes and they know the value of their jobs. That’s our heart, that’s why we do what we do.”
The employees come from Community Intersections, a nonprofit organization based in Colorado Springs.
For more information about Blue Star Recyclers and its programs, visit www.bluestarrecyclers.com.