Shirlee Green Preschool
at Congregation Shaare Emeth

I departed from St. Louis at 5:30 am headed for Evansville, Indiana, to pick up a bench. Not just any bench; it was a bench created from melted plastic caps donated by the children, families and staff of Shirlee Green Preschool.

The camp director partnered with Green Tree Plastics as a summer environmental project. The goal was to collect 150 pounds of plastic caps. Can you picture 150 pounds of plastic caps? It filled four dishwasher appliance boxes.
Green Tree Plastics has a very rigorous checklist regarding the exchange of plastics for their bench. After meticulously checking off the items, one must phone for a scheduled appointment. My choices were two different dates in December or November 11. Have you ever encountered the possibility of weather forecasts in December in the Midwest? I chose November 11!

I arrived in Evansville, Indiana around 10:15 am on November 11. Since my appointment was at 11 am, I pulled over to respond to many messages from the preschool regarding the snow/ice mix heading into St. Louis. I pulled into the parking lot at Green Tree Plastics at 11 am to pick up the beautiful rainbow bench, and an employee informed me that the bench would not fit in my car. I responded with a smile, “I’m not leaving without it!” After coordinating our physical and mental efforts, we managed to manipulate the 150-pound rainbow bench into my car. And for his efforts, I offered to pick up lunch for him.

The ride home was even more exciting, as the weather quickly changed into the snow/ice mix that made its way from St. Louis. I prayed no one would hit my car, as my knees and elbows were close to the steering wheel and I was hauling a 150-pound bench directly behind me. The front seats of my vehicle were positioned all the way up to offer enough space for the bench.

I arrived safely in St. Louis at 7:30 pm, on November 11. It was a complex environmental project that was so worthwhile!