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Grant funds recycling for coats project
United Way grant
Leah Poole from the Liberty County Branch of the United Way of the Coastal Empire holds the Healthy Community Grant Award, which is an original painting by Eric Longo on recycled metal. - photo by Photo provided / Coastal Courier
The United Way of Liberty County will again its plastic bottles-to-coats project thanks to a grant from an engineering firm.
The project is one of five in coastal Georgia and South Carolina to earn $2,500 grants from Ward Edwards. The firm is investing $12,500 in projects that promote or improve environmental sustainability in coastal South Carolina and Georgia, a news release from the first said.
When the program was announced in June, it was intended to invest up to $10,000. Twenty-one applications were submitted, and five projects were selected.  
Leah Poole, director of the Liberty County Branch of the United Way of the Coastal Empire, recently received the award at a ceremony. She has said the money will be used to organize students to collect plastic bottles to be recycled into useful items such as fleece pullovers that will be given to students in need.  
The grants are part of a Healthy Community program funded by Ward Edwards to encourage creative solutions for existing environmental problems, plant seeds for innovation in stewardship, and recognize tangible efforts that lead to long-term sustainable benefits.

The other grant recipients ranged from an organic community farm on St. Helena, SC, to construction of a demonstration rain garden at the Bluffton , SC, Town Hall.
 "One of our core beliefs is that people are accountable for stewardship of the Earth," Allen Ward, president of Ward Edwards, said.  "Adding value to real estate while practicing good stewardship requires the creativity and leadership of talented people."
The 2007-08 grant cycle was the first for Ward Edwards.  The company will announce the 2008-09 grant cycle in March.  For more details or to download an application package, go to
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