AESS leadership students are holding a zinc drive to prevent dead batteries from ending up in landfills and help to promote child health in Kenya. Batteries can be dropped off at multiple locations around Agassiz including Agassiz Harrison Community Services, Canadian 2 For 1 and Red Apple.

Local youth pioneer community zinc drive

Students collect dead batteries to help Kenyan children

When it comes to vitamins and nutrients, most of us think about fruits and vegetables and not so much about dead batteries.

But that’s exactly what a group of Agassiz Elementary Secondary School (AESS) students are doing.

In their leadership class, the group decided to join in on the annual Zinc Saves Lives Battery Recycling Campaign led by Canadian resource company Teck.

The program encourages students across Canada to collect and recycle used batteries in their communities, keeping them out of landfills and raising money for zinc and health programming for youth in Kenya.

For every AA battery recycled, Teck donates the value to WE Canada to support zinc treatment programs that save children’s lives.

Makayla Morissette, a Grade 11 student at AESS, said the zinc drive is a powerful way for youth to empower young people from across the globe.

“We’re able to make a difference so far away from where the impact is actually happening,” she said. “I think it’s really cool because not a lot of people get the opportunity to do that.”

On its website, Teck explains that zinc is an “essential micro-nutrient that is crucial for healthy growth and brain development.”

By strengthening the immune system, zinc fights dangerous infections and is a life-saving treatment for diarrhea, which kills more than 500,000 children each year.

The numbers are startling – zinc deficiency affects 1.2 billion people worldwide and contributes to the death of nearly 200,000 children every year.

With money raised from recycling old batteries, WE Canada purchases the therapeutic zinc and supplements needed to promote child health in Kenya.

Morissette said the drive is a great way for the whole community to get involved in a good cause.

“A lot of people just throw away their dead batteries but, in this instance, an AAA battery has enough zinc for six people to get the zinc that they need in their diets,” she said. “This is something that, because we ourselves are youth, it’s something we feel a little bit closer to.

“Anything we feel like we can make an impact on, we’ll take on,” she said of her leadership class.

Morissette encourages the community to take a moment to check electronics and tech items for dead batteries.

The batteries can be donated at AESS, Red Apple, Canadian 2 For 1, Agassiz Harrison Community Services and the Valley Youth Centre.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

John Redekop, with wife Doris, was the 2019 recipient of the Betty Urquhart Community Service Award from UFV. (Photo courtesy of UFV)
Nominations open until Oct. 30 for UFV’s Betty Urquhart Awards

Award recognizes ‘significant impact’ of volunteer work by an individual or group

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Fraser South region has doubled in the last two weeks. The number of cases in the Fraser East region has tripled.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
COVID-19 surge in B.C. fuelled by spikes in new cases in Fraser Valley & Surrey area

Number of newly confirmed cases has tripled in Fraser Valley and doubled in the Surrey/Langley area

Jennifer Greggain has accepted a new role with Golf Canada, coaching the country’s top junior athletes. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack’s Jennifer Greggain gets new role with Golf Canada

Greggain is now one of two people guiding the country’s top junior golfers

Snow is possible in the higher elevations of the Fraser Valley and beyond today. (Black Press Media files)
Early wet snow possible in the higher elevations of the Fraser Valley

Onset of precipitation with falling temps will bring a risk of wet snow in areas above 300 m

File image
EDITORIAL: Whose side are you on?

Editor Adam Louis says there’s no change without making your voice known

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The family of Anika Janz, who died after collapsing at school, has launched a GoFundMe to assist with funeral proceedings. (GoFundMe photo)
Family of student who died launches GoFundMe

Rick Hansen Secondary School student Anika Janz, 14, died after collapsing in PE class

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read