It’s always the right time — and never too late — to take stock of what you have and pay it forward. Supporting your community is easy; plus, it feels good to do good.
The Beer Store is lucky to be a part of so many different communities — and we’re big believers in the power of giving back and in making things better in the places where we live and work. That’s why we’re proud to partner with a number of charitable organizations to raise funds and awareness across the province and the country.
One example is our annual bottle drive for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada, which sees Beer Store staff across Ontario hosting events and initiatives to raise money for blood cancer research and treatments. Since 2006, we’ve raised almost $20 million in partnership with our union, UFCW 12R24.
Or maybe you’ve noticed the coin boxes at our retail locations. They make it easy for you to lighten your change pocket, and all proceeds go to our charitable partners. Each box supports community fundraising goals, rounding up donations for an array of programs and organizations, including the Royal Canadian Legion’s Poppy Campaign, Arrive Alive Drive Sober, Habitat for Humanity Canada, the Terry Fox Foundation and more.
Want to get involved? It’s up to you how you do it. You can simply unload some spare change, or you could take the helm of a fundraising initiative. It all counts. To help you get started, we’ve hashed out some ideas. Read on for five big-impact ways beer can give back, listed from least to most effort.
- Donate your bottle return money at The Beer Store
Thanks for bringing back your bottles, cans, and wine and spirits containers. You’ll get cash in return, which you can either pocket or leave with us to donate to one of our affiliated charities. The community causes we support vary by Beer Store location. If you’re in Ottawa, it might go to Roger Neilson House, a local organization that offers palliative care to children and provides support for their families. In Hamilton, your change could head to the regional cancer centre, Juravinski Hospital. Or it could go to one of our province-wide partners, such as Arrive Alive Drive Sober or Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences. We are always happy to share where your full donation is headed — just ask us.
- Clean up your local environment and let the proceeds help your community
One of our core values is recycling, and we work hard for the environment every day. Here’s proof: We have the most successful waste diversion program in Ontario (probably North America, TBH), with an impressive 97% recovery rate on refillable bottles. You might be wondering what that has to do with the community. Well, by creating an incentive for you to bring back your bottles, cans, lids, cardboard boxes and caps, we’re doing our part to make our neighbourhoods — and planet — cleaner and greener. You can take your green efforts one step further by collecting stray bottles and cans you see on a walk or in the park, and bringing them to us and donating the cash to local environmental projects. Cleaner cities and towns rule!
- Donate to someone else’s bottle drive
Not everyone thrives on organizing events, and that’s OK. We work with local charities to facilitate bottle drives, and we love it when you participate by dropping off your empties. Keep an eye out for drives happening in your area. If you don’t see much action, you could call some of your local charities and ask them if they’re planning one of these fundraisers. Or you could host one — please see the next idea.
- Host your own bottle drive
Here’s a bigger idea that takes a bit of organization — but, boy, it can make a huge impact. Hosting a bottle drive is a fun way to recycle empties and raise money. The concept is easy: Ask your friends and neighbours to drop their bottles and cans at a designated location, then bring them to us to trade for cash.
To ensure a smooth event, follow our step-by-step bottle drive brochure and use the printable lists to keep you on track. A few pro tips:
- Contact your local Beer Store ahead of time. Store staff can help you choose the best date and time to deliver what you’ve collected and ensure your visit is efficient and quick for all.
- We know you’re as eco-friendly as we are, so we’re happy to have you bring everything back in your own reusable recycling containers or boxes. Cans can be stashed in clear bags. If you’re short on bins, you can swing by the store ahead of the big day to pick up cardboard cartons.
To speed up returns processing, count all empties prior to coming in. Try to organize them in their original packaging, and separate them by colour and type — think wine bottles all together, and Tetra-Paks and plastic bladders in their own spot.
- Throw a virtual beer event or fundraiser
Hosting online gatherings is a great way to bring people together for a good cause. There’s no one way to organize this kind of event, but we recommend you pick a date, set an “admission fee” and send invitations with a suggested drink list. Tell everyone the proceeds will go to a chosen charity. Consider supporting local resources and beer pros in your ’hood, too. Maybe you could hire an artist to lead a painting night while you sip some nice brews, or have a beer educator give a brewing 101 lesson while you do a virtual tasting. Either way, you’ll be doing good and connecting with others. Win-win!