Go out and collect 299 openers? Can do


The Mirror

Erin Hoffmann hadn’t heard of can opener drives. Neither had a lot of other people, who apparently liked her idea to have one.

Just take a look at the 299 manual can openers –– mostly new and still in their packaging –– filling bins last Friday in the living room of Hoffman’s home. That’s where they ended up after the teenager collected the donations made at each public school in Federal Way.

“I expected maybe 50,” said Hoffman, who will give them to Multi-Service Center for distribution to people who need one. The center runs the Federal Way Food Bank.

She speculated that the unexpected deluge of openers “is because everyone does food and clothing drives, but no one had heard of something like this.”

With the blessing of officials at the center, a Federal Way-based social services agency, Hoffman made flyers and took them to schools, plugging her “can opener project” to help homeless people or others who might not have something to open canned food. She’d volunteered at the food bank before but was plowing new ground with the opener campaign.

“It seemed to bring out a fresh awareness of the smallest of needs that can be easily cared for,” said her mother, Kerri.

“I was definitely happy it went so well,” said Erin, a senior at Decatur High School who hopes to become a commercial photographer after going to college at Central Washington University.

Editor Pat Jenkins: 925-5565,

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