A KOMO TV news story once wondered what fate the old Seattle P-I newspaper dispenser stands held following the demise of the printed Seattle P-I newspaper in March. “I think they should turn it into a coke machine,” said one person interviewed. Another quipped, “Maybe Starbucks can find a way of selling coffee out of them.”
Thankfully, about 300 of the old newspaper dispensers were salvaged by the Lakewood Lions Club and under an agreement with Bates, are now being refitted by students in Sheet Metal Technology to serve as donation drop off boxes for eyeglasses, cell phones and hearing aids.
“It’s a win-win situation,” says John Anderson, past president of Lakewood’s First Lions Club. “In turn, the Lakewood Lion’s Club is offering two $500 scholarships annually to students in Sheet Metal Technology through the college’s foundation. These new donation boxes are great way for us to get into our community and help those in need. We’re thankful to Steve and his students for helping us do that.”
“Fortunately, students work on the boxes as work-study students, after class, so they aren’t missing vital instruction and classroom time,” says sheet metal technology instructor Steve MacKay.
The Lions Club will place the newly refurbished donation boxes in high-traffic areas, such as Sam’s Club, Costco, cellular phone stores, and Wal-Mart. “We collect between 600-1,000 eyeglasses each year for recycling,” says Anderson.
“Students Clark Burbridge and Slava Cosoi have already completed about 44 boxes, taking about 5 hours to complete one dispenser,” says MacKay. “This project is valuable to our students because it helps them learn how to keep to a production schedule and work with outside organizations. It’s great for the Lion’s Club, because these students are saving them about $80-$100 per hour of labor.”
Way to go, Sheet Metal Technology!