In February, the Chronicle Times reported on a local 8-year-old girl, Annalie Nelson, who had an idea that was submitted to Pepsi's "Refresh Everything" project. In that spirit of refreshment, we'll refresh your memory on the subject here.
Annalie Nelson with one of her "t-shirt" shopping bags. Photo submitted
Pepsi is giving away more than $20 million in grants to fund great ideas that make us think, inspire us, and ignite participation - Ideas that make good things better or improve situations; in other words, ideas that refresh.
The Pepsi Refresh Project will award $5,000, $25,000, $50,000 and $250,000 to individuals and organizations who turn good ideas into projects that "make a difference." The grant categories include Health, Arts and Culture, Food and Shelter, The Planet, Neighborhoods, and Education.
Annalie wanted to take old t-shirts no one wants and "recycle" them into re-usable bags. She then designed several bags, with her original artwork on them. Annalie then suggested donating all the proceeds from the bag sales to the local area animal shelters to help homeless pets. Her mom, Nancy, loved the idea so much, she submitted it to the grant program, and they were approved for a $5000 grant, with $2500 provided "up front," and the remainder following the submission of a progress report. They will be involved in the "Pepsi Refresh Project" for a year.
The goals of the Nelsons' project are to raise awareness for active recycling, hoping to cut down on people's use of plastic bags; to raise at least $10,000 through the sale of recycled t-shirt bags; and to donate those sales to local animal shelters to save animals.
Here's how you do it ...
Annalie Nelson instructs host Sushin Pak on the construction of one of the "T-shirt shopping bags," as her brothers Brian (in gray t-shirt) and Ben (back) help, during filming of their MTV spot.
Photo by Dan Whitney
Here is the latest news on the project : Nancy Nelson said that they just sold their 100th t-shirt bag (at only $1 / bag); The Rock Valley elementary school students are going to be bringing some of their used t-shirts to Nancy for transformation into bags, and she and Annalie have been invited in turn to present an Assembly Program on the project at the school; the Sioux City Hy-Vee store is interested in the project; and last Wednesday, a crew of six people from the MTV cable network were in Cherokee to record a piece on Annalie and the project. The crew left from Times Square in New York three weeks ago, and they have been traveling down the Eastern seaboard and through America's Heartland, recording "Pepsi Refresh Project" stories that they found to be of special interest. Suchin Pak, who will serve as the host for the series, said she found Annalie's story interesting because of her youth, and sees her as a representative of the "new generation" of young people who understand that change is possible, and are into social activism to bring about that change.
Getting the shot -
The MTV crew makes sure they get the sound and video right as (left to right) Ben Nelson, Annalie Nelson, Nancy Nelson, and Sushin Pak construct a shopping bag. Photo by Dan Whitney
On Wednesday, Pak interviewed Annalie, her brothers Ben and Brian, and their mom Nancy at Nancy's place of business, Nelson Sewing, and also at their home.
The piece on Annalie's project, along with several others, will be airing on several of the MTV-owned networks for one month. Nancy said that MTV would let her know when they will be aired, but they told her " it could be anywhere from three weeks to three months," depending on the progress of all the stories.
MTV hits Cherokee -
This production crew from MTV were in town last week to tape a story on local resident Annalie Nelson and her family. Left to right, producer Zach Mortensen, director Joey Garfield, director of photography Doug Emmett, supervising producer Kim Howitt, and on-air host Suchin Pak. Photo by Dan Whitney
Kim Howitt, the Supervising Producer of the MTV project, said that the spot will be airing on MTVU, VH1, Nickelodeon Teen and Comedy Central.
MTV crew members who were in Cherokee on Wednesday included Pak, Howitt, director Joey Garfield, producer Zach Mortensen and Director of Photography Doug Emmett.