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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Iowa nonprofit collecting recyclables to raise money for teachers

Leah Demarest, founder of Ed Ease Iowa, has collected 38 bags of recyclables so far in two days. Each bag is usually worth $3.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — To benefit educators across central Iowa and the state, nonprofit Ed Ease Iowa is collecting recyclables to turn into money to give to teachers. 

The founder, Leah Demarest, is holding the fundraiser as her way of showing appreciation to teachers and schools. 

"It helps because [we're] donating funds for any projects [teachers] might have such as filling their libraries with books, or for teachers who are trying to supply their classrooms with different types of school supplies," Demarest said. 

Demarest chose glass bottles, plastic bottles and cans instead of just collecting money because she knew a lot of people might have these items in their house, and would not mind sharing them. 

"A lot of people have cans building up over the pandemic that they haven't been able to donate elsewhere, so we're allowing people to donate to us ... and we just get the redemption for each can," Demarest said. 

Each can and bottle is worth five cents each. One full bag of recyclables is around $3.

She noted this fundraiser is important now, because due to the coronavirus and distance learning, teachers are spending more of their own money. 

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"On average a teacher pays about $745 out of pocket for any type of classroom or school supplies," Demarest added. "And after the 2019-2020 school year, it's now about $1,000 dollars out of pocket."

Ed Ease Iowa is also partnering with Molly's Cupcakes to donate a gift card to every teacher and staff at one of the local schools in Des Moines.

If you interested in donating to the fundraiser, you can reach Demarest at edeaseia.com or by calling 641-521-2778.