Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

St. Charles fifth grader exhibits ‘can-do’ attitude toward recycling

the Inland Register

(From the Nov. 13, 2003 edition of the Inland Register)

Adreanna UttkeAdreanna Uttke collected mounds of discarded cans, recycled them, and donated the proceeds to her school, St. Charles in Spokane. (IR photo from St. Charles School)

At the first St. Charles all-school gathering in September, fifth grader Adreanna Uttke received a special school service award for her recycling efforts on behalf of the school.

Between June and September, Uttke collected cans – two pickup truck loads, with the cans piled higher than the truck itself, she said. The results of the recycling: a cleaner world, and a $140 donation to her school.

She started collecting cans “when I learned you could recycle them for money,” she said, and initially gave the money to her mom. A St. Charles student since first grade, Uttke decided to make a special effort to collect money for the school over the summer. “It was fun,” said Uttke.

Besides the recycling, she also raised money for the school by making and selling jewelry and clothes at her grandmother’s stand in the public market.

Tom Feldhausen, St. Charles principal, sent Uttke a letter when the school received her contribution. In it he thanked her for her fund-raising and told her that she would receive a special award when school opened.

To the applause of the student body, Uttke was awarded a certificate and a little stuffed wildcat, the school’s mascot. Uttke felt honored but embarrassed: “I didn’t like taking attention from other classmates who deserve it,” she said.

The recognition has borne fruit, however. One classmate has started collecting cans, and another is selling juice and hats, said Uttke. Still others are planning a garage sale, with the proceeds to go to the school

The fifth grader, whose goal is to “make others joyful,” isn’t finished yet; her current plans include donating her old clothes to a shelter for women and children. She’s also still collecting cans. Two garbage sacks full – so far.

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