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Take your can to Jefferson
Fire department collecting aluminum for burn foundation
Jefferson Fire Chief Bobby Gooch stands next to a recycling bin for aluminum cans at the fire station on Ga. 129. The money collected from the recycled cans benefits the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation. - photo by BRANDEE A. THOMAS

JEFFERSON — If you think you don’t have enough money in the bank to make a charitable donation, think again.

The next time you are heading to Jefferson, bring along a few empty soda cans and drop them off at the Jefferson Fire Department and you’ll do a world of good.

For the past six years, the department has participated in the Recycling Every Aluminum Can Helps project, which benefits the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation.

REACH raises money that is used to educate the public about burn awareness and prevention, assist burn survivors and support medical facilities that treat burn victims.

"The foundation puts one of their trailers in front of (the station on Ga. 129) and we maintain it," said Bobby Gooch, chief of the Jefferson Fire Department. "When it gets full, we call them and they come and empty it."

The foundation emptied the Jefferson container about three weeks ago, Gooch says, and there are already hundreds of cans in the bin.

"We have a lot of people who come by just to put cans in," Gooch said. "It usually fills up in a couple of months."

The Jefferson department is one of some 35 participating fire departments across Georgia.

According to foundation staff, the REACH program was started in 1986 and is one of the organization’s largest sources of revenue. Since its inception, the program has recycled more than 3 million pounds of aluminum, which has raised nearly $2 million for the foundation.

The Jefferson drop-off location has produced more than 10,000 pounds of aluminum, which generated almost $7,000.

"It’s really a good program," Gooch said. "And the community really supports it."

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