project leader
Valerie J
4401 Valleyside Rd.
(West Park)
latest update rss
What a journey!

the project

Help reduce social isolation in our school! The Lady Leaders in grades pre-K through eight at Douglas MacArthur Girls’ Leadership Academy have been collecting plastic bottle caps for the past 1.5 years, and now they need your support! With your help, more than 600 pounds of bottle caps will be recycled into three “Buddy Benches.” Each 8-foot bench costs $300, resulting in a need for $900 to make our bottle-cap benches a reality. The benches offer a concrete way for students to notice when someone is feeling lonely. If someone is lonely, they can go sit on the bench, and others know to go up and ask them to play. Thanks to our awesome Physical Education Instructor Mrs. Anderson and her team for initiating and leading this project! Moms Lacey Reidl and Valerie Jerome are lending a hand in raising funds for implementation.

the steps

1. CHILDREN own the project, receive caps (from community), sort caps

2. MENTOR/TEACHER supervises sorting, teaches values of earth care and promises

3. SPONSORS provides funding for benches (that's us!)

4. DRIVER logistics (caps to Green Tree, Bench to children)

5. GREEN TREE PLASTICS turns caps into benches

6. REGISTER your organization. 

7. PLACE your order, allowing a minimum of three weeks. 


why we're doing it

A Bench for Caps (ABC) Promise Partnership was designed for school children by a team of 6 eighth graders in March, 2010, as their entry in a nation-wide academic competition in community problem solving. Topic: recycling.

This “partnership” between children and Green Tree Plastics is specifically to be a tool for teaching about caring for the earth. The students and team at Douglas MacArthur are also fostering an environment of inclusion and kindness by adding the Buddy Bench component. Their goal is to help end social isolation for students on the playground. When someone is lonely, they can sit on the bench, and others will know to invite them to play.

The benches will belong to the children; they will be placed where they want them to be placed so they can show others the results of their work and the value of recycling, and so that the students can use it when they need a buddy!  The students and teacher-mentor will develop a pledge for the bench.


Disbursed Budget 2.19.19:

8 foot bench with back $300

Rainbow blend $75

8 foot bench with back $300

Rainbow blend $75

Caps/bench transportation costs: $77.18

Total: 827.18

RAISED = $852.00
less ioby Platform Fee  waived
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $24.82

Original Budget:

6 foot bench with back $250

8 foot bench with back $300

Add one color to the bench $50

Rainbow blend $75

Standard color for the bench is gray.

Project Subtotal = $900
ioby Platform Fee waived
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $27
Total to Raise on ioby = $927


What a journey!

Thanks to our 26 online supporters and one offline supporter, we have rasied more than $1,000 toward the buddy bench project. We are so proud that we could support the school in the way. We have two days left in our ioby campaign with only $75 to fully reach our online goal. With these funds, the school will be able to order three buddy benches. We look forward to sharing updates with ioby and in our personal networks as the school moves forward with their porject. Thank you, again, to all of you for your generous support. 

WEWS News Channel 5

Thank you to Homa Bash at Channel 5 WEWS for raising awareness of our buddy bench project. Since we have received so much amazing support, we should be able to secure three benches and maybe a little more for the girls. We are in the home stretch of our campaign!


We have met and exceeded our goal as of Tuesday evening!

A huge thank you to West Park Kiwanis for their generous donation that was presented to us at their meeting on Tuesday.

We are continuing to fund raise through our online campaign for an additional bench(es)!

We still need 150 more pounds of plastic caps for our third bench! This should be easy! Everyone has plastic caps!

81% raised! Busy, but not forgotten.

Hi All,

Holiday break is over and the children are back in school. Life happenings have picked up again, and we haven't been sharing our link as much; however, with your support, we have inched closer to our online fundraising goal. We are at 81%. In addition to these funds, we have raised a great deal of awareness, too. A local shop has expressed interest in placing a buddy bench on the patio. And, a local civic organization has taken an interest in supporting our cause offline. We can't wait for the next week or two when we close in on goal. 

73% We feel the love!

We have reached 73% of our goal, and we look forward to making an exciting announcement next week! Thank you!

17 amazing donors, 64% raised!

At this rate, we will have the buddy benches fully funded by time the girls return from holiday break. Your support is appreciated!


While we were sleeping, Aunt Darlene tipped the scales for us! We are now at 54% of goal. Thank you!

$41.50 need to reach 50% of goal!

All amounts are appreciated. We are almost half way to goal. Thank you!

43% from 12 donors

It takes a village, and we have a great one. With your help, we are moving the fundraising needle.

32.5% and moving on up! Muchas gracias!

Thanks to two new supporters - Charlene and Steve - we are moving closer to getting the lady leaders some benches! We appreciate you!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Anonymous
  • Tina R. Clark-Landrum
  • Becky Young
  • Cheryl Kline
  • Anonymous
  • Mary Ungaro
  • Mrs. Wrabel, a SPED teacher
  • Pookie Dotts’ mom
  • Anonymous
  • Dare Novak
  • LINDA D.
  • Kathy B.
  • Aunt Darlene
  • Tanya Ricchi
  • Barbara A Reitzloff
  • Chris Wolf
  • Anonymous
  • Charlene
  • Steve Lorenz
  • Jennifer Catron
  • Cloey, Eric & Lacey Riedl-Basinger
  • Joshua J.
  • Sherwin
  • Megan Scanlon
  • Nora Kelley -- 5 Points Coffee & Tea
  • Anonymous