When Our Lady of Grace Catholic School opened over six years ago, cartridge and cell phone recycling had already helped the PTO earn nearly $500 for new equipment. Since then the school has accumulated another $8200 by recycling with FundingFactory!

Angie Fettig, the school’s FundingFactory coordinator, was a member of the Principal’s Advisory Committee the year before the school opened and was chosen as the first PTO president.

“When you start from nothing you really have nothing,” Angie said. “Our PE teacher had nothing. For field day the first year we had nothing.”

She researched different recycling fundraisers and felt most comfortable with FundingFactory. The group began collecting the used items during the spring and earned the nearly $500 before the school opened in the fall.

The PTO purchased two overhead projectors to start off the school year and then followed with two more projectors, 14 pairs of headphones, one digital camera, two sets of FlagHouse cones, one dozen potato sacks and two sets of rubber chickens before summer break!

Total cost for the products purchased with FundingFactory earnings that year was over $1900. The school got it all without ever having to ask parents to buy fundraising merchandise.

“My favorite part (about FundingFactory) is that there is no selling and no money changing hands,” said Angie. “I like the idea that we’re not asking people to buy anything. Our school and church do enough fundraisers asking for money. I also like the fact that everybody uses printers and what we are asking for is otherwise trash.”

Recycling earnings with FundingFactory are posted to an online account where participants can choose to receive a check and spend the money elsewhere or shop in FundingFactory’s online Rewards Catalog. Our Lady of Grace PTO chooses to purchases equipment from the Rewards Catalog, which feature over 100,000 items from books and classroom supplies to whole playground systems.

“Sometimes when you get cash there’s a black hole that it falls into, but when you’re getting the products from the Rewards Catalog you are actually getting what your school needs,” said Angie. “FundingFactory has provided us with field day equipment and PE equipment that we do not have the funds to purchase. The PE teacher is always excited when I ask for her wish list for the school year. She is impressed that the items are top quality, new, shipped free, and delivered quick.”

In order to keep the collection program thriving, Angie puts articles in the school’s newsletter to explain the recycling program to the parents. The articles always give an update on all the products that the school has received completely free of charge in exchange for the recycling earnings.

“Everyone in the whole building participates – even if it’s only one every other month,” she said. “Every single one counts. People look at me funny when I ask for their used cartridges, but it’s all worth it when the new equipment arrives.”

The school has about 320 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.