Students provide aid in canned drive for animal shelter

An empty pop can drive to benefit Muncie's Animal Rescue Fund ended on a high note yesterday.

Sophomore entrepreneurship major Leisha Sigler collected over 5,000 empty pop cans through donations from Ball State University students in the past month to raise money and to get the word out about ARF.

"[Donating cans] is an easy way to make a difference," she said. "A lot of people saw the dog crate [the cans were collected in] and they saw how it can affect the animals."

ARF's veterinary bills alone usually add up to about $30,000 a year and empty pop can donations are the shelter's main fundraiser that helps pay bills for the animals, executive director Phil Peckinpaugh said.

Sigler, who donated several hundred cans, said she was surprised by how many cans students and faculty members donated.

"I thought I'd maybe collect a few bags of cans once a week," she said. "Instead, I had to go three times a week."

Sigler extended the deadline from Sunday to Monday so students could donate cans after their Super Bowl parties. She said although no one brought in cans after the game, the extension was beneficial. About 500 cans were donated over the weekend.

Students and faculty who went out of their way to make an effort made the can drive a success, Sigler said. The end result says a lot about the character of Ball State students and faculty, she said.

Senior elementary and special education major Alicia Pierce said she and her roommates donated about 200 pop cans because it was an easy way to make a difference. She said the can drive was a good way to get college students to help out.

"I think that sometimes we don't give students enough credit as far as wanting to help when they're able to," she said. "I think that it's the fact that [donating cans] was an easy thing and it wasn't just asking to dish out five bucks."

Pierce said she would have donated cans no matter what, but the threat of the Muncie Animal Shelter closing in December was a bit of a wake-up call.

"Animal shelters aren't in people's everyday thoughts, so when something like that comes up, it makes them think about it," she said. "I wouldn't be OK with [the shelter closing], but it heightened my awareness on saving animals."

Sigler said she's happy the pop can drive helped put ARF in people's minds, especially since students can donate pop cans all year long at ARF.

"It's an easy way to make a difference," she said. "It didn't matter how many cans we collected, it was about getting the word out."

For more information about ARF, go to munciearf.com.


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