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Can corral up and running at The Blind Center

For most people, aluminum drink cans are trash to be put out with the weekly recycling, or, until recently, hauled off to the local convenience site or landfill. With the recent cleanup effort of the can corral at The Blind Center of North Carolina, those looking to offload their cans can now do so while helping raise funds for a local nonprofit.

“The Blind Center has been recycling cans since the day they started here,” said Blind Center Director Paul Shane, who took on leadership of the nonprofit just a month ago. “It paid for the initial building, just recycling cans.”

Once the cans are collected at the center, volunteers transport them to a local recycling center. Though the price the Blind Center receives for its cans is less than it might be in other parts of the country, Shane says the effort brings in a decent amount of money for the nonprofit.

“It’s about $300 per trailer load, but it’s basically free money where we just have to sort the cans and make a phone call to have them picked up,” Shane said. “Those are unrestricted funds that we can use for anything.”

Between the cans, sales of crafted items in the center’s gift shop and a variety of fundraisers and grant applications throughout the year, The Blind Center is able to serve visually impaired clients from throughout the area, offering activities, fellowship and opportunities to learn skills to help build self-sufficiency.

BY THE TRAILER-LOAD: Cans donated to The Blind Center can bring in around $300 per trailer load, all of which comes back to the nonprofit as unrestricted funds. (The Blind Center)

“I’m hoping to add more programs with a focus on independence and self-sufficiency,” Shane said. “Right now, we recognize the social isolation that our folks are feeling in the community, and we want to give them a chance to socialize with one another and create that joint feeling of belonging.”

For the time being, The Blind Center is not offering many of its normal programs to clients due to COVID-19. Those wishing to donate cans may do so any time of day at the center. To learn more about The Blind Center and its mission, visit www.theblindcenter.org or find the nonprofit on Facebook @TheBlindCenter.