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Cans for a Cause

Young philanthropists work to make a difference.

Alisa and Vanessa Lorden, fourth-grade students at , are donating to various causes while helping the environment at the same time. The ten-year old twins and their mother spoke with columnist Julie Fay about charitable entrepreneurship and recycling for a cause.

Tell me about you’re doing to help make a difference.
Alisa: at this year (October 2), we realized no one was recycling all the (soda) cans. That’s when we started collecting people’s cans and donating (the proceeds) to places.

Janet (mother): They teamed up with Sustainable Milton and collected 233 cans at Celebrate Milton, redeemed them for cash, put it together with other money they’d been collecting from chores and other little jobs, and donated $100 to the Milton .

Alisa: We also had a lemonade stand last year with our friends, raised $235 (from sales and donations) and that’s when we started donating.

How did you get started with giving to charity?
Alisa: My mom’s job is helping the world become healthier and greener (Lorden is the executive director the STEM Garden Institute, a program that encourages hydroponic agriculture.) When she started that, we wanted to start helping the world also.

Vanessa: We started helping our school. We wanted to raise money for field trips at Tucker, and we donated $237.86 to the Tucker PTO when we were second-graders (in April 2010.)  We got a lot of donations for that because the people thought it was a good cause.

So why help the animal shelter?
Vanessa: The major reason is that we want a dog (giggles.) We love animals, and we believe everything should be helped no matter what.

Alisa: We believe everything has its own life and everything deserves the best it can have.

How do you think your work helps make the world a better place?
Vanessa: I think that doing what we do (collecting and redeeming cans) is making the world greener. One person can make a difference, and two can make twice the difference. It’s really helping the earth and it’s going to a cause. We’re helping the world and helping people or animals. It’s like a win-win situation.

Alisa: We are also going to help the food pantry. We volunteer there every year. We believe that everyone deserves the best. We think if we can help one person we are helping the world. We just like to help out a lot. It’s sort of what other people would think of as playing soccer. We do it for fun.

Vanessa: The best gift of all is giving to someone else, because it makes them feel good and it makes you feel good too.

Alisa and Vanessa have launched a blog, http://aandvmakeadifference.wordpress.com, where you can learn more about their charitable work. If you would like to donate cans or funds to their cause, send an email to their mother, Janet Lorden, at j_lorden@yahoo.com.

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