Sydney Flack, a Girl Scout from Maryland Heights, has been in the scouts since Kindergarten and was ready to earn her Silver Award. As she rounded businesses in her community selling cookies and offering support, many of them recommended she visit Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital. She reached out to the CEO who gave her a tour of the hospital. “He mentioned the new play garden was just completed but there was limited seating for families,” says Flack. “It was a perfect project because I had made benches before as a Girl Scout, so I already knew how I could help.”
She pitched her bench project in early 2020, and it was approved; however, the pandemic hit shortly after delaying her delivery. “It took a long time to complete, but it gave me more time to collect thousands of lids for the project,” she says. Her parents are proud of her service and grateful to have all the recycled lids finally out of their house. “It was years of collecting, cleaning, and storing hundreds and thousands of caps,” they said.
The bench is made from more than 100 pounds of recycled plastic, specifically lids from bottles and containers. “There are a lot of rules on what type of lids and plastic you can take,” says Flack. “I filled three 55-gallon bags of caps from mostly soda bottles and milk containers.” She brought the lids to a recycling center that recycles plastic to make new items. Greentree Plastics in Evansville, Indiana, is the closest center.
Now, the patients and families can enjoy the playgarden and have a moment of respite as well on the recycled bench, thanks to the Flack family.