While those may just look like bags of recycling, they are much more than that. Leighton Schur, a junior at Joel Barlow High School, is collecting cans and bottles to raise money for foster children, and he needs your help.

Leighton started a charity called Cans for Kids last spring when most of the United States was in quarantine to help foster children and families struggling during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

With many activities and schools shut down, support systems for foster children were disintegrating. Even if foster kids were lucky enough to be in contact with a biological family member, visiting them was no longer an option. Schools and the economy have begun to reopen, but restrictions remain to prevent Covid-19 from spreading, and conditions for foster children remain unsettled.

All of the money raised through Cans for Kids goes to local foster care centers to help improve foster kids’  lives. To avoid direct contact with donors, Leighton set up the program so that he will either come and pick up recycling you can leave on your curb if you live in Easton or Redding, or you can drop it off at his house in Redding. 

“You don’t even need to sort out the cans and bottles from the rest of your recyclables,” said Leighton. Aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles are needed. 

During quarantine, Leighton thought a lot about how he wanted to help the community, and found Cans for Kids to be his winning idea. Not only does it allow people to stay socially distant, but it also “helps create a cleaner environment while making sure people don’t have to do more work then they already do,” Leighton said. “Most people have a recycling bag in their house and wouldn’t mind having me pick it up instead of the recycling crew.”

In the short term, Leighton hopes to get local schools and businesses involved in Cans for Kids, and get more community members involved in sorting, collecting, and driving recycling to the Stamford recycling center. 

“The best part about this fundraiser is it allows for a lot of community involvement,” he said. 

Leighton’s long term-goal for the charity is to involve foster children in the project and increase awareness of the struggles they face. Visit thefutureofyourfuture.com for information on how to volunteer and donate. 

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