I met with Desirae, an avid recycler, to discuss her experiences with Recycle Pots and Pans. Desirae lives in Tallmadge, Ohio, graduating in 2015. Unfortunately, she suffered a brain injury and has been in therapy for the last few years, while also taking care of her grandparents. Desirae recently was put in charge to settle her grandparents’ estate, and that included finding organizations to donate unwanted items in an environmentally friendly manner.
Despite nudging from friends to rent a dumpster and throw away old items, Desirae was on the hunt for an organization that took donations of exactly the kinds of items she had. She stated, “I didn’t want to just donate them to a secondhand store that would then be selling them to somebody in need of them… [but] donating to Goodwill or Salvation Army is great. I just don’t really think anybody should have to pay for those items again if I’m donating them. Big items like the ones Recycle Pots and Pans collects don’t always fit in everyone’s budget.”
Desirae’s interest in recycling dates back to the fifth grade. “I had a teacher that was very adamant about recycling, and it got me in the habit of at least like paper and plastic recycling.” As the years have passed, so have her efforts to do even more.
An internet search connected Desirae to Recycle Pots and Pans, and after her initial encounter, she knew it was a great fit. She stated that she sent an email over to Abbe, who called back almost instantly. Abbe told Desirae that she could drop off her donations at the non-profit any time. Desirae loved how responsive and accessible the organization and Abbe were, given her schedule and responsibilities of late.
“[Community members in need] shouldn’t have to pay for simple stuff to help them feed themselves. Some of what I donated was difficult for me to transport. And I don’t imagine, especially where Goodwill and Salvation Army are located on the bus line, it would be very fun to transport pots and pans.” Desirae appreciated how much Abbe and the organization go out of their way to get donated items into the hands of people that need them.
Because she started cooking for herself at a young age, Desirae talked about the need for items such as pots and pans – and not just one – just to cook basic meals. She was so happy that her grandparents’ items could have a new life with a person or family in need.
Just as Desirae was in awe of the mission of Recycle Pots and Pans, I was in awe of Desirae and her desire to do good and think about sustainability and helping others when she already has so many things she’s managing. The world is a better place with people like Desirae in it!