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YMCA preschoolers learn to give back

March 13, 2017 GMT

Local preschoolers recently learned more than the academic fundamentals of shapes, letters, and colors. They learned about giving back to their community.

Forty preschoolers at YMCA in Fort Madison did their share of giving last month. They raised $151 for the Protectors of Animal Welfare (PAW) Animal Shelter in February.

During the month, the 40 students – 20 students in the morning class and 20 in the afternoon session – placed pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters into a crayon-designed piggy bank.

Preschool Director Emily Hymes said she discussed with her students how one penny can make a difference, and how sharing and caring is important.

Hymes said she thought the students did great job with fund raising.

Loss of deposits

will hurt shelter

PAW Shelter director Sandy Brown said the shelter survives off of donations from the community.

“The community has been wonderful about donating those cans and bottles, so losing that income would be devastating,” Brown said. “We don’t get money from thte state, county, or the city. We survive just on the generosity of the people that believe in what we’re doing.”

State legislators are considering a bill that would replace the nickel deposit on beverage containers with a statewide recycling and litter control program – a move that Brown says would negatively impact the shelter.

The shelter and many redemption centers have been operating off of the 39-year-old Iowa’s Beverage Containers Control Law, also known as the “Bottle Bill.” The PAW shelter generates about $40,000 a year from can and bottle donations.

The new bill would state that consumers pay a five-cent deposit when purchasing a beverage container and receive a five-cent refund when returning the container to a store or an Iowa DNR “approved” redemption center.

Brown said that if the bill changes she would have to find another way to pay employees.

Brown said people should contact their legislators about the statewide recycling and litter control program.

Brown said this bill would put out multiple recycling businesses.

More volunteers needed

According to Brown, the shelter always needs more volunteers and donations, mainly because their vet bills are high. The shelter’s veterinary expenses usually average around $200,000 a year, at a minimum $300 per dog and $150 per cat. Brown said they have spent well over $3,000 on an animal. She said every animal is fully vetted before they are adopted. The shelter allows adoptions per dog at $180 and $85 per cat.

The shelter currently has 150 to 200 animals in their care and donations are given in the form of food for animals and in the form of cans and bottles to help with the general funds for the shelter.