By BRITTANY LEWIS
Take a peek into Danielle Rothchild’s living room and you will find giant teddy bears on one end and a million bread tags on the other.
“I collect them from hotels, restaurants, basically anywhere, homes, neighbors,” she said.
Her collection of bread tags started a few years ago.
“I’m in an organization called FCCLA, which stands for Family Career and Community Leaders of America and they have competitive events and I like to compete and I competed in recycle and redesign. I first made a dress out of a shower poofs, then cupcake liners and then bread tags,” she said.
She collected 40,000 bread tags to make the dress, but only used about 5,000, so she did some research to figure out how to use the tags she had left over.
“I found a place in South Africa called ‘Bread Tags for Wheelchairs’ and I was 16 years old at the time, and I said, ‘Well if an 80-year-old can start a foundation, so can a 16-year-old.’ So, I started a nonprofit where this 80-year-old woman, she had the bread tags, bring them to a recycling plant and then in exchange, she uses the proceeds to buy people wheelchairs so I took that idea and brought it to the U.S.,” said Rothchild.
She created “Danielle Cares for Chairs” and she’s been asking businesses, neighbors and friends for bread tags ever since to help raise awareness about environmental sustainability and to raise money to help buy products for people with mobility issues.
“I just really hope to educate people about sustainability while giving back to the community. There’s so many different ways and so my end result is, I just want to help the world as much as I can while educating others,” said Rothchild.
She’s found a recycling company willing to pay for her bread tags and she’s applied for grants. She received one from Disney and Youth Services of America to host an event where she will present a modified pink car to a little girl, with the help of Pike High School’s robotics team.
“She’s four and can’t really use her lower half,” said Rothchild.
The event will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 14 at Carmel High School’s main cafeteria.
“I can’t wait to see her smile on her face and her parents’ reaction to getting a toy,” she said.
That toy is just one of many items in her living room that Danielle Rothchild is using to help change the world.