Yes, He Can!

Levi Roberts is not your average video-game-loving, Lego-building 11-year-old. A Bend middle schooler with a knack for caring about his community and the outdoors, Levi turned his biggest life obstacle into a cause with an unlikely means.

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Meet Levi

Levi’s Story

In January of 2022, while the Roberts family was on vacation at Disneyland, Levi, then nine-years old, fell ill. The family cut their trip short and made the 13-hour drive back home to Bend to learn a shocking diagnosis—Levi has Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).

Levi spent four long days in the hospital, learning about and preparing for the big lifestyle changes ahead. Through the difficult days in the hospital, one program in particular, the Child Life Specialists at St. Charles Hospital in Bend, brought cheer. On top of providing emotional support for the family, the caretakers also brought toys for Levi and the other kids in the hospital system. These moments were small joys that made a huge impact on Levi.

“The support and care we received was just amazing,” said Crystal, Levi’s mom. “Leaving the hospital, one of the things Levi left with was that feeling of, ‘they did so much good for me, and now how can I give back to them?’ So that was our first donation out of our Green Bag account.”

Paying it Forward

With a Green Bag account already set up, Levi connected the dots and saw an opportunity to pay it forward with the power of OR-10-cent containers. And he did it masterfully.

In the past year, Levi raised over $900 (via cans and bottles) for multiple nonprofits, including Toys for Tots, the Humane Society of the Ochocos, and Child Life Specialists. Additionally, after finding the Zone 4 bottle in this year’s Hidden Bottle Hunt, he was able to direct BottleDrop’s $1,000 donation to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

So how was Levi so successful fundraising with bottles and cans? One method was by leveraging his close network of friends and family. Levi partnered with Sarah, his family friend and neighbor, to gather as many containers as possible from her brokerage office. A simple sign inviting her coworkers at Windermere Central Oregon Real Estate to donate OR-10 containers to charity did the trick.

“Every few days, Sarah brings a couple of bags of cans, and then we pick a charity we want to donate to. Maybe we go buy some toys to give or just donate the money,” explained Levi. “Depending on if you can get a lot of people to help like we do, you can really collect a lot of money.”

Watch the video below to learn more about Levi’s inspiring story and his expert BottleDrop methods.

How to Raise Funds Like Levi

  • Open your Green Bag account ASAP!
    • By the time Levi was ready to act, his account was already set up and ready to go. Click here to join Levi and more than 1 million Oregonians with BottleDrop accounts.
  • Push Plus!
    • Levi and Crystal utilize their local Plus-participating retailer to maximize their toy donation for the Child Life Specialists at St. Charles Hospital and Toys for Tots. By shopping at participating retailers, you can receive a $0.12 per container refund value as in-store credit compared to the typical $0.10 refund you would get in cash. That’s a whole 20% more toys, food, and home goods at these locations.
  • Use you online BottleDrop account
    • Levi and Crystal love the BottleDrop online portal. The online tools are great ways to regularly check your account balance and track bag processing and donate to a participating BottleDrop Give nonprofit in just a few clicks.
  • Enlist Friends and Family to Help
    • Levi would not be able to do his amazing work without his network of friends and family. Consider inviting your community to donate their beverage containers for a fun and rewarding cause!
  • Bonus! Participate in the annual Hidden Bottle Hunt
    • The Hidden Bottle Hunt is the biggest treasure hunt in Oregon, spanning across the state in six different zones. The Roberts family participates each year and located the Zone 4 bottle in Bend in 2023! As winners, they were invited to direct a $1,000 donation from BottleDrop’s Containers for Change program to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and joined the Hidden Bottle Hunt Hall of Fame. The Hidden Bottle Hunt is a great way to enjoy the parks and special places that Oregon’s Bottle Bill works to protect.

It takes a village – Levi is supported by all his friends and family

Levi is supported by all his friends and family!

It Takes a Village

Levi shows that BottleDrop is not only about environmental responsibility, but it’s also about being a part of a tight-knit community and giving back to organizations that work tirelessly to serve those around them.

By tapping into BottleDrop’s programs, your family can be environmentally responsible, give back to phenomenal local organizations, and explore our beautiful state. We hope these best practices inspired by Levi will motivate you to join the cause, too.

If you and your family have a unique BottleDrop story, share it with us using the form below!

Unique BottleDrop Stories

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