Box tops bring in big bucks
Rock Falls parent wants to see more people get involved
ROCK FALLS – Don’t throw out that Dannon yogurt label or the UPC from People magazine.
East Coloma parent Kim Lutz obtained a wireless PA system for the school by saving labels such as those on Campbell’s soups. Now she wants to get other community members involved.
The national Box Tops for Education program pays schools 10 cents for each box top sent in. General Mills launched the program in 1996 and numerous other companies have since joined.
Campbell’s Labels for Education assigns points to labels from Campbell’s products and other participating brands. The labels are exchanged for items in the program’s catalog.
Labels and box tops may be dropped off at the Rock Falls Public Library, 1007 Seventh Ave., where Lutz and other community members will sort them and mail them in.
Those wishing for the items to benefit a particular school may indicate their preference on the bag.
Helping the schools also can be as easy as scanning a card at a grocery store checkout. Shoppers who go to rewardyourschool.com and labelsforeducation.com can sign up to have money automatically sent to a school when their eligible items are scanned at participating grocery stores. The paper box top also may be sent in for additional points.
Most Rock Falls schools do not have anyone to coordinate the two programs, and some coordinators have multiple duties and therefore cannot devote enough time to the collections and to getting the word out, Lutz said.
Lutz and other interested community members have met monthly in the past to sort the labels and box tops, and she intends to start the meetings again. Lutz wants all Rock Falls schools to benefit from the programs, she said.
“I just wanted to help other schools make money,” she said.
In the 2011-12 school year, East Coloma made $1,395.40 in the box tops program, while Montmorency School received $2,232.40.
Some Rock Falls schools brought in less than $10 last year, though.
Raising the funds can be as easy as choosing Hanes products for printed school shirts. If a buyer requests their supplier use Hanes T-shirts, polo shirts or sweatshirts, they may send in their invoice and Hanes redemption form (at www.Hanesforeducation.com). In 4 to 6 weeks, the buyer will receive a Box Tops certificate that can be redeemed for cash for the school.
Kevin Andersen is superintendent of East Coloma.
The programs have been helpful for his district during these difficult financial times, Andersen said.
“She [Lutz] was able to get things for classes, that in the current economic situation, schools can’t do on their own,” he said.
Students also enjoy participating in programs that help their schools, he said.
“Any time we can get kids involved in helping their school out, they feel better that they did something, that they played a part in that,” Andersen said.
To help cut, sort and send, call Lutz at 815-625-4177.