ANOTHER VOICE: Leos: 400,000 containers and counting

As usual, the first Saturday of March had the Hood River Leos Club collecting deposit bottles and cans in the Rosauers parking lot. As they do on the first Saturday of every month, the Leos greeted the regular stream of cars whose drivers were bringing bags or boxes of empty containers.

And those containers, each with a nickel deposit, add up. Sometime on the first Saturday in January, someone brought the 400,000th container to the Leos since the monthly collection began four years ago.

As the containers add up, so do the nickel deposits. The 400,000 containers mean the Leos have collected $20,000 worth of nickels.

Since the Leos Club passes 100 percent of the money from its deposit container collection to local groups or activities, this $20,000 has benefited our community. Recent recipients of funds from the monthly collections include the FISH food bank, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Relay for Life, the Warming Shelter Project, Columbia Gorge Cat Rescue, the Christmas Project, the March of Dimes and Adopt A Dog.

(If your group wants to be involved with a Leos collection and receive the associated funds, please email to

The Hood River Leos is a youth community service group affiliated with the Lions Clubs in the Hood River Valley. You’ll see members volunteering their time throughout the community at various events. Hood River is blessed to have many of our youths doing so many worthwhile activities. It amazes me how involved these kids are.

The monthly deposit container collection program began in January 2009. The youths concluded that because most people don’t like to use the machines to return their deposit containers, many were being thrown away. And, even if the containers were being recycled curbside or at a drop box, the nickel deposits that go along with the containers were staying with beverage manufacturers and distributors.

The Leos also recognized that many of us would gladly donate our deposit containers to a good cause, if it were easy to do so. So, the monthly collection project increases beverage container recycling, keeps more of the nickel deposits in the community and raises much-needed funds for local groups and activities.

Now, four years later, the monthly collection of deposit containers continues. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month in the Rosauers parking lot, the Leos collect aluminum, plastic and glass beverage containers that have a 5-cent deposit.

Please bring only containers that have a deposit (soda, beer and any beverage container with the word “water” on the label), thus no Snapple, Gatorade, tea, juice or wine bottles. It is also helpful to sort the containers by type.

Thanks to community and business support, the Leos deposit container collection has been huge success. Activities like this makes one happy to live here.


Bob Danko, of Parkdale, is an adult volunteer assistant to the Leos collection project.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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