As our readers know, Perry Wellness Center is very interested in community activities that both fulfill a real need and bring various members of the community together in partnership. Several months ago, Fellowship Baptist Church began one such community project – the collection of used and new medicine bottles.
One’s first reaction might be: why collect medicine bottles? Project director Pat Turner explains, “The collection project was begun to help deprived families in foreign countries who were provided medication in paper wrapping. It was time to help as we could and not fill American landfills with additional plastic.”
Mrs. Turner is mission chair for the local Fellowship Baptist congregation. She began the seeds of the project, and it soon spread to other church members. Members not only helped collect donations, but worked out some logistical problems.
“The shipping costs were high,” Mrs. Turner, a retired educator and regular community volunteer, explains. “But we were blessed to have a network of friends who would help us.” They included Linda Fuller Degelman, a Fuller Center for Housing founder and longtime community leader. She contacted her vast email list, and many responded with offers to assist. The first shipment of label-free bottles was shipped to a pick-up site in Indiana at a cost of $125 by a popular shipping organization.
Mrs. Degelman soon realized that the shipping fee was too costly and discovered that a family member of local resident Bobby Peacock resided in Indiana and could transport the next collection of plastic bottles for the church.
As for collections, Perry Wellness Center was proud to provide a collection box on campus for donations by staff and peers. Another collection box was placed at The Dime Store in Buena Vista.
This past week, Perry Wellness Center loaded around 1,000 bottles into the project director’s van for delivery at the pick-up site. The effort has been time-consuming but worthwhile for all those involved.
“I guess that this project is officially over,” Pat Turner shares. “But our church will soon have another mission to help others in the United States and our world.”
In the above photo, Paul Dickson of Perry Wellness Center assists Pat Turner in loading the back of her van with approximately 1,000 used pill bottles.