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Spike in can drive donations for front-line workers

Spike in can drive donations for front-line workers


Jamie Mangrich

WATERLOO — A can and bottle drive to benefit nursing home workers during the coronavirus pandemic is going to be expanded to hospital workers and first responders because of a spike in donations.

Jamie Mangrich started the project over the weekend, asking social media friends to drop off containers with a 5-cent deposit on his front lawn to provide meals for nursing home workers.

Four truckloads and a slew of business donations later, Mangrich said the fundraiser has pulled in thousands of dollars.


Returnable bottles and can line Jamie Mangrich’s front lawn on Thursday.

“Now I can do Sartori, and now I can do Covenant, and now I can do Allen. Now I can include the hospitals and the police and fire department,” he said Thursday.

He estimates he has received $3,000 from returnable bottles and cans so far and $1,000 in gift cards, which was topped by a $5,000 donation from Tyson Fresh Meats.

With pledges from local restaurants to match what he raises, the benefit is on track to make $15,000 to $20,000, he said.

The project wouldn’t have been possible without help from Metro Area Redemption of Cedar Falls, which is processing the refundable containers and providing other logistical support, including trucks.

“It’s going to take him a week to get all these cans done, and it’s not really lightening up at all. My yard is still packed,” Mangrich said.

Donors can leave their bottles and cans at Mangrich’s Hickory Street home in Waterloo or drop them off directly at Metro’s University Avenue Facility to be applied to his account. He is also setting up a bank account to handle the donations.

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