Cans4Books Community Initiative turns recyclables into reading material
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 10/20/21 - 09:00 AM | 2107 views | 11 11 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Trisha Goolsby wearing red shoes next to Randall’s Sandals drop-off location in Pacific Beach.
Trisha Goolsby wearing red shoes next to Randall’s Sandals drop-off location in Pacific Beach.
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Trisha Goolsby has started a movement to trade recyclables to help purchase children’s books that would benefit communities including Point Loma and Pacific Beach.

Known as the Cans4Books Community Initiative, the drive was started by Goolsby who works with Stellar At-Home Educational Consultants and whose educational background focuses on early childhood/special education.

Goolsby’s recyclables-for-books drive kicked off last December in the midst of the pandemic when she had some downtime during the lockdown.

“I decided for safety that I would collect unemployment from my home education business during the stay-at-home order,” said Goolsby, who started a Facebook page for the Cans4Books Community Initiative, to promote the creation of a mechanism for raising funds from recyclables and converting that into a community benefit.

Trisha’s notion was to “develop a platform to help support your neighborhood without asking for money or selling anything. I thought, ‘Why not start collecting recyclables to raise money to buy children’s books and bring that into the community?’ So I created a fundraiser to try and collect 10,000 cans to raise money for children’s books.”

Added Goolsby, “I wanted to bring the community together as a collective to recycle CRV bottles for money to bring educational resources into the hands of our neighborhood children.”

On her Facebook page, Goolsby implores people to “Look out for those receptacles to dispose of your aluminum cans and plastic bottles. We shall see how much we collect and raise for children’s books.”

Noting her mission is to make Cans4Books “a nonprofit organization,” Goolsby pointed out her initiative started with her running the show and even renting a truck to do her own pickups and deliveries. But her one-person operation has since morphed into a full-scale side business involving many other community-minded individuals.

“Our goal was to get the communities together in giving their streets a little TLC, as well as provide locations for CRV recyclable drop-off and free children’s book pick-ups at our local small-owned businesses,” said Goolsby, addingCans4Books lends itself to social distancing and scheduled pick-ups. “That is where we have thrived,” she said adding, “As Cans4Books community has grown, I wanted to get more businesses involved.”

Noting there are “quite a bit of logistics and production that goes into recycling,” Golsby is now picking up recycling utilizing the help of community volunteers in several neighborhoods. Volunteers are aiding Goolsby with turning recyclables into the CRV Recycling Center, which allows her to continue to run her education consulting business.

One of those volunteers is Kyle Stern.

“Kyle has been the final piece to my CRV trips, taking over our large loads of CRV recyclables accompanied with his son, turning it into a family affair to pick-up large scheduled donations, “said Trisha noting that, before Kyle, “It would usually take me a few days finding a friend that would let me borrow their big vehicle.”

Trisha added she has a mascot for her initiative, a stuffed monkey named Rupert, that she said has become “the face for Cans4Books that children love.”

Cans4Books is now spreading throughout coastal communities and gaining wide support, like the military housing community in Liberty Station in Point Loma, which has begun pitching in for the cause. The initiative also recently secured the cooperation of Pacific Beach Woman’s Club, which donated 10 recycling receptacles to the collective effort.

Goolsby noted the recycling initiative is important not only “to bring communities together as a collective but to include children as the main focus teaching them about the importance of reading and caring for mother Earth and our community.”

Concluded Goolsby of the success of her recyclables-for-books endeavor: “Every day our community fills my heart with gratitude and love for one another.”

For more information email trisha@sahec-sd.com.

 Businesses/organizations participating in Cans4Books

PB Woman's Club 

Randall's Sandals, PB - drop-off location.

San Diego CRV Center - Cash donation box.

Shore Buddies 

Vishna Life, LLC

Vervor Shop, OB - Cans4Books free children's books available in their kids corner.

PB Town Council

Christ United Presbyterian Church, South Park - drop-off location.

San Diego Law Library - drop-off location (coming soon). 

Street Stewards - Community clean-up collaboration.

Want to help? Email Trisha Goolsby at trisha@sahec-sd.com.

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