Josh Nordell and his Life Skills students have a “can-do” attitude when it comes to helping raise money for their program at Sisters High School. He and his students have set up a trailer container at the school for donors to drop off returnable cans and bottles.

Nordell explained, “The money raised goes right into programming for students in the Life Skills and the transition program that serves kids until they are 21. This funding supports day-to-day operations such as learning to cook, vocational tasks such as cleaning equipment and classroom supplies. It also supports Project Unify, an athletic program which brings kids with and without disabilities onto the same team.”

Nordell hopes that people will keep a bag of returnables at home and when it’s full to swing by the east side of the high school parking lot and drop donations off in the marked trailer container. While getting 10 cents per can or bottle doesn’t seem like much, it adds up quickly if enough people get involved, according to Nordell.

“We’d love to see it become routine for families and individuals to deal with their cans and bottles so we have a steady stream of returnable containers coming in,” said Nordell.

Having a quality program costs money, so Nordell has often done fundraising to add to the program’s coffers.

“As with many groups and activities in school, the reality is we need to fundraise,” he said. “This is just how it is. We want to make this program continue to be successful and that costs money. We try to be prudent, but we are also willing to spend to help a student with special needs. We are lucky to have the support of the community.”

In addition to this new can and bottle collection, the Project Unify program has raised funds through the annual Polar Plunge in Bend each year.

Nordell prefers to do fundraisers in which the students can be involved. Students will help in the collection/processing of the cans and bottles, just as some also take part in the Polar Plunge. He is, however, open to direct donations, which he points out are tax-deductible.

“We always love donations, and checks can be made out to the Sisters High School Life Skills Program,” he said. “The money truly does make a difference in the lives of students that have special needs. We are proud of our program and the students the program serves.”

The mailing address for Sisters High School is 1700 W. McKinney Butte Rd., Sisters, OR 97759.