Between old keys, soda tabs, corks, movies, books, aquariums, cell phones, and eyeglasses, there was little Sustainable Braintree wouldn’t take for its Sixth Annual Make a Difference Day at Braintree Town Hall.
Residents obliged the requests for everything from clothing to toiletries, filling two trucks of goods for Interfaith Social Services and Lucky Day Thrift Shop while also donating and recycling hundreds of items to be reused in new ways.
“It’s been growing every year,” said Eileen Campbell, the co-chair of Sustainable Braintree’s Recycling Task Force, who helped organize this year’s event. “There are huge, large trucks…and it’s lots of partners to run something like this.”
Braintree’s Town Hall was practically filled to the brim with all the participants. From Kids Clothes Closet to the Thayer Public Library, to the N.E. Wildlife Center, Braintree Community Youth Center, Cell Phones for Soldiers, Lions Recycle for Sight, Marge Crispin Center, Dianne DeVanna Center, keyforhope.org, and Shriners Hospitals for Children, recipients had stations or areas for residents to drop off goods.
According to Diana Althouse, a Braintree resident who has been a part of the Make a Difference Day since the beginning, approximately 1,000 people come out annually to participate.
Unfortunately, as the program grows, “so has the need,” Althouse said. “But you don’t realize people are paying attention and saving.”
After all, the bags and bags of soda tabs don’t just accumulate in one night, and the hundreds of corks from numerous wine bottles is a year-long collection effort.
Yet people are getting the word out about the program, and resident after resident kept coming through the Town Hall doors with bags and bags of goods.
For Diane Porter, a Braintree resident, this is their second year participating.
“We wouldn’t miss it,” Porter said.
Even though she and her husband donated something new rather than something reused – they bought a new baby blanket to give for the occasion – the goods will go a long way for someone in need.
It’s about reduce, reuse, recycle as much as it is giving back to the community, Campbell said. “It’s a nationwide day of giving.”