Local friends host bottle drive to support anti-racism movement

Local friends host bottle drive to support anti-racism movement

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From left to right, Brendan McGonigle, 19, Mikayla Zane, 19, Dylan Alexander, 19, and Natalya Trembley, 21, stand beside the table they set up outside the Osoyoos Bottle Depot to collect bottle donations in support of the fight against racial injustice. (Photo: Sophie Gray)

Sophie Gray

Local Journalism Initiative

Friends from Osoyoos and Rock Creek threw a bottle drive outside the Osoyoos Bottle Depot on Wednesday to raise money in support of Black Lives Matter protesters in the United States and Canada.

Mikayla Zane, 19, and Natalya Tremblay, 21, wanted to do something other than posting on social media to support those fighting against racism. With little funds of their own, they thought they’d bring in some empty bottles to exchange for cash to donate.

Then they thought, why not get the rest of the community involved?

“A lot of people don’t do some much from a smaller community, so we thought if we could bring our community together for bigger awareness and raise some stuff … that it was a good idea,” said Zane.

They got two other friends to help out, put some posters up on community Facebook groups, and set up a table outside the Bottle Depot. 

The drive ran from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday. By 1:30 p.m., the group had raised over $300.

All donations will be going to Black Lives Matter Toronto and the Equal Justice Initiative Fund. 

The group of four sort bottles and cans to take into the Osoyoos Bottle Depot as part of a fundraiser they organized for the anti-racism movement. (Photo: Sophie Gray)

“Both of them are mainly about helping wrongfully convicted people get justice, stop unnecessary police brutality and of course you need money for lawyers for that kind of stuff,” said Zane.

This is the first time Zane and Tremblay have dabbled in social justice, but both consider it just the first step.

They hope to raise awareness in their own communities about racial injustice and step out from behind social media to help make a change.

“I don’t think we really set a goal, we just said anything will help. We’ll take any bottle, any amount.”

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