Grand Ledge high schooler donating cans and bottles

Published: Apr. 29, 2020 at 6:47 PM EDT
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Anyone who drinks pop or beer regularly probably has a growing pile of bottles and cans in their garage right now.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer gave stores permission to stop accepting returns during the pandemic.

Grand Ledge Junior Isabella Borruso saw that many of her neighbors were piling up cans and bottles because return areas around the state are closed.

"A lot of people are too nervous to return their bottles anyway...they don't want to go to the store to chance getting sick," she said.

So, she decided to collect them.

"I was getting bored with life at home and I was like 'well I'm not working, so maybe some people would want to donate some bottles and I can bring those back and earn a little extra cash,'" she said. "More people wanted to than I thought so that works out for everybody."

Two weeks later, she's collected more than a thousand dollars worth of returnables for Lansing's Out of the Darkness Walk with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

"We think it's wonderful...especially right now, we love any sort of innovation that our volunteers are using to collect donations toward our cause," said Corbin Standley with the AFSP.

They're just one of many organizations that could use extra donations during the COVID-19 crisis.

"Every dollar is really important to us to keep providing services to everyone who needs us," said Kat Riley with the American Cancer Society. "There's lots of ways to donate...can drives are just one of many ways."

Isabella says she's glad to help donate to an organization that means so much to her.

"It's good to have these resources available for people. We have this available so we can still keep getting those funds for people after this is all over."

She says she's working with stores to find a way to redeem the cans for cash as soon as the stay at home order is lifted.

To make a donation to Out of the Darkness Lansing, you can email