My instructional assistant at work recently introduced me to “Tapitas para Soñar.” ( I believe that translates: Lids for Dreams.) She is originally from Colombia, so it only makes sense that her highschoolers’ service project would be Colombia based. She and her sons recently gave every classroom on my campus a basket in which to collect tapitas, lids from containers of water, soda, juice or milk. When they go “home” for the holidays, she and the boys will bring the lids to a collection site in Colombia.
“Tapitas para Soñar” uses these usually discarded pieces of plastic to raise money for children in Colombia who have cancer. The organization makes crafts, such as tote bags and wind chimes, from these lids. They also raise money by recycling the excess. They are hoping to open a facility similar to a Ronald McDonald House, where families of sick children can stay while their children receive treatment.
I love the idea of turning garbage into something that will help fund medical assistance for sick children. In my city, I don’t think these lids even recycle. On campus, they litter the ground everywhere. Although at first I didn’t think I’d have that many lids to contribute, I’ve been surprised by how quickly my little basket has filled.
Collecting tapitas has helped more than just the intended Colombian children. A secondary benefit of this project has been that our campus has been a little cleaner. Now that these lids have a purpose and a place to go, they no longer litter the grounds. They’ve become a desired commodity.
In an age filled with violence and despair, I have found joy in the stewardship and compassion of this project, Tapitas par Soñar.