News: Marine’s son turns bottle caps into funds for charity
Story by Kristen Wong
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Kaneohe Bay - Thanks to a Mokapu Elementary School student and his family, a simple bottle cap may help find a cure for diabetes.
Mokapu third grader Logan Miller and his parents have taken on a new project called “Bottle Caps for a Cause.” With the help of his parents, Miller collects metal bottle caps, turns them into a decorative art piece, and sells them for a charity that’s close to his heart — diabetes.
On Thursday the Miller family presented the local office of the American Diabetes Association with his first check of $500.
“He is truly inspirational and we are so excited to meet with him (and his parents),” said Leslie Lam, the executive director at the local office of the American Diabetes Association. “His story truly touches our heart and ignites our passion to find a cure ... Our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.”
Logan Miller has been saving bottle caps since he and his family went on a trip to Kauai a few months ago. While enjoying the beach, Miller found bottle caps in the sand, and was inspired to collect more.
By the time Miller’s father, a Marine with Marine Aircraft Group 24, returned from his most recent deployment to Afghanistan, Miller had nearly two 1-gallon paint buckets full of bottle caps. Though initially,
Miller wanted to recycle the caps to raise money, recycling bottle caps turned out to be difficult, so they decided to sell bottle cap art instead.
Miller decided he would raise money for the American Diabetes Association, in honor of his grandmother, Louise Bridges.
Bridges, of Marrieta, Calif., has had diabetes for 16 years. When she heard that her grandson would be starting this charity in her honor, she was moved.
“I was in tears,” Bridges said. “I am extremely proud of him. It’s not often that you see an eight year old take on this kind of challenge.”
The family’s goal is to raise $500 at a time. “Bottle Caps for a Cause” has its own Facebook page, where curious folks can look at the different pieces available for sale, or request a special order. Interested parties can leave messages on the page for Miller’s mother, Ginny, who frequently checks the page.
The family has made various items including earrings, necklaces, serving trays, wall hangings and decorative tables. The family has also created custom-made orders, like name and sports team designs.
Miller’s father does a lot of the woodwork while Miller’s mother helps put the caps in place in resin. Miller himself sorts the bottle caps and has helped with the woodwork.
Miller and his family spend as long as four or five hours a week and more on the weekends. The family collects bottle caps from places on base such as the Enlisted Club at Kahuna’s Bar and Grill.
They also check the buy, sell and trade pages on Facebook for used items and hunt for items on bulk trash night on
base. Through this, they were able to refurbish serving trays
and build tables, each with a bottle cap design. So far, friends, family and fellow base residents have made numerous orders.
Base resident Amy Santos found the “Bottle Caps for a Cause” page while she was browsing on Facebook.
“I fell in love with the tables (on the website),” Santos said.
Santos is now the owner of a serving tray decorated with a bottle cap-designed flag of Puerto Rico. She also commissioned a name plate for her father, who also has diabetes, and currently has six more items on order. Santos described the charity as “touching,” and for her, the fact that the items are recycled is also a plus.
Miller’s father said he’s very proud of his son, and the family hopes to continue the project as long as their son wants to stay invested in it. In the future, Ginny Miller said the family may start using plastic bottle caps, but for now they only use metal bottle caps.
“I feel really good that I’m helping (fight) diabetes,” Miller said. “I know a lot of people have diabetes and they could die. I like to help them find a cure.”
Base residents who want to order an item, donate bottle caps, or used wood or potentially refurbishable items can call Ginny Miller at 636-221-5846, or post a message on the “Bottle Caps for a Cause” page on Facebook.