9-year-old running her own Christmas light recycling business

By KYRA LOW, The Mirror

What to do with all those broken strands of holiday lights?

Well now there is an option that not only gets the lights out of the way but it’s also for a good cause.

Nine-year old Jessica Lam and her mother Danette are collecting the lights and taking them to a recycling center, where Jessica will receive 70 cents for every pound she brings in. Normally rates are 66 cents a pound but the yard is decided to give extra after finding out Jessica was doing it all for charity. The Lams plan on donating all the money to World Vision and to Jessica’s school, Nautilus Elementary, to raise money for the library.

“Instead of throwing away, you can recycle,” Jessica said. “It’s better to recycle.”

Danette got the idea after Jessica wrote a song for a school project on making a difference, Jessica’s grandfather had taken his old lights to be recycled a couple years ago and had received money for it.

“I told her, you said you wanted to make a difference,” Danette said. “Now here’s your chance.”

Jessica and her mom have gone to several stores, including Safeway, Top Foods, Wal-Mart and Super Wal-Mart to talk with the managers, Jessica’s favorite part, and set out boxes for the lights to be collected in.

“It’s kinda like finding an Easter egg when you find something in the bucket,” Danette said.

The boxes at Nautilus, with the help of the teachers has received about 50 pounds of lights. The boxes from the stores have received about a bags worth of lights.

Jessica’s goal is to get 20 strands of lights from each store.

“The worst part is empty boxes instead of full ones,” Jessica said.

There is also a box at St. Luke’s Church, where the proceeds gathered from that box will go to the church.

The lights collected thus far are being stored in separate locations in the Lams garage, so as not to mix up those for the school, the church and the those whose proceeds will go to World Vision.

The Lams will continue collecting the holiday strands until Jan. 20.

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