From bottle cap benches to a friendship garden, it’s Good Projects time at Grace Ridge

🔊 Listen to This Blog. It’s no easy (or tidy) task spending 100-plus hours sifting and sorting through bags stuffed with thousands of plastic caps from sodas, laundry detergent bottles, coffee cans and peanut butter jars, but when the end result is three new “green” benches for deaf and blind seniors, it’s an undertaking that’s truly gratifying. Last year, Grace Ridge spearheaded a Community Bottle Cap Project and teamed up with Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge, Simply Green Recycling Service and Robert L. Patton High School to collect plastic bottle caps and promote the importance of recycling. “We wanted to collect enough bottle caps to make a recycled bench for the Alder Springs Senior Deaf and Blind Community,” said Evelyn Beaver, life enrichment director. “We had an unbelievable response from the community – all over western North Carolina – and ended up collecting enough to make three benches. It’s a great example of true community spirit.” Once volunteers sorted the 1,200-plus pounds of bottle caps and loaded them into the Grace Ridge van, Evelyn and co-worker Wanda Miller made the 500-mile trek to Evansville, Ind., where the caps were repurposed into benches at Green Tree Plastics. On Dec. 18, Grace Ridge staff presented three green benches – tied with a red bow – to representatives from North Carolina School for the Deaf at Morganton Foundation and the Senior Deaf & Blind Community. Board Chairman Jerry Norvell gratefully accepted the benches and promised they will be put to good use when the new community opens early next year. “What an incredibly creative way for Grace Ridge residents to add quality...