The goal of our non-profit organization is to educate the public on how to recycle correctly and to help handicapped children under the age of 21 in the USA receive wheelchairs.

 

 

By recycling polypropylene #5 and polyethylene #2s and #4s plastic caps and lids, we raise money to provide wheelchairs for disabled children under the age of 21 in the USA. This also has an environmental benefit as discarded caps are put in our landfills or incinerated which harms the earth if not recycled. We recycle polypropylene #5 and polyethylene #2s and #4s plastic caps which are three different grades of plastic from the bottles or containes and are valuable in bulk. CAPS MUST BE SEPARATED BY GRADE OR THEY CANNOT BE ACCEPTED! They can be sold to companies using recycled "post-consumer" plastic to create new products such as composite decking, janitorial supplies, shipping pallets, park benches, paint cans, automotive interiors,  and many other items.

If not local to Palm Beach County, Florida, please contact your local recycling center to take your plastic caps and lids in exchange for a tax deductible donation made payable to Caps Of Love charity. 

 Nondiscrimination Policy
"Caps Of Love" does not discriminate or support on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, national origin, or physical or developmental disability.

 

Have you ever thought about how much you could change things just by not throwing out your plastic caps?

 

Become a collector.

Welcome to Caps Of Love: Helping the disabled

Our Projects

 

Dear Caps Of Love supporters,

I am very excited at the growth of the "Caps Of Love" charity and wanted to take this opportunity to update everyone on important news:

1) April '14 A woman donated her daughter's wheelchair as her daughter could no longer use it.  This pediatric wheelchair is a high-end piece of equipment valued well over $5,500 and in very good condition. Unsure of how to find a qualified handicapped candidate for the chair, I reached out to the Royal Palm School for special needs children in Lantana, Florida. This school has been a very large supporter of "Caps Of Love" charity for over 5 years. The handicapped children themselves, their parents, families, and faculty of the school bring bags and boxes of plastic caps for recycling each week.  This school has a waiting list of needy children waiting for wheelchairs. This is one of two of my wheelchairs that were donated in the presence of my collectors and supporters on Feb 2015.

2) Oct '14 my charity gave away the first 2 wheelchairs in the USA. They were given to the Renaissance Learning Center for High School students with Autism in West Palm Beach. The director Toby was happy to receive these chairs to aid his students with mobility problems.

3) In August '14 I got 8 boxes of plastic caps mailed to my home. This is not unusual as I receive them almost daily from all over the country. They were mailed from US ARMY Troops serving in Kuwait!!!  They went on-line to find a place to recycle their plastic caps and found my charity. I am honored to have them! To this day, I receive weekly boxes from US troops in Qatar, Afghanistan, and Dubai!

4)In September '14 I received an email from a nationwide charity called “Wheelchair Foundation.Org” that donates wheelchairs to those in need. They saw the coverage of my charity in the Sun Sentinel Newspaper and want to help. I have received two 12” and two 14”brand new, basic manual wheelchairs to donate to local needy children. Thank you Jack Drury!

5) In September '14 I got an email from Iris Gallegos in Austin Texas who collects caps for us through her Catholic Church. Her son used to need a wheelchair but now can walk.   She contacted me offering his chair. I accepted but was then presented with the task of getting it from Austin, Texas to West Palm Beach, Florida. I called the store manager, Don Christopher, of her hometown Home Depot #6839. I asked if it would be possible for them to ship the wheelchair to my store on the Home Depot trucks. He quickly agreed and I received it a week later.

6) In September '14 I was pleasantly surprised to see a huge pallet of boxes come into our receiving area at my Home Depot. It was 580lbs of plastic caps collected by “Women of the Moose” chapter 1118 in Riverhead NY.  They took it to their local Home Depot store #1222 who mailed it free of charge for them to my store. Just another of many examples of goodwill shown by so many!

7) In October '14 I received my long-awaited 501c3 tax exception status. It is retroactive to February 2013 so past donations of goods or services or donation checks can be written off for tax purposes.

8) Another high-back wheelchair was donated from a man in North Charleston, South Carolina. It was shipped for free from the Home Depot in N Charleston to my store for Caps Of Love.

9) In December '14 I woman donated her MOTORIZED pediatric wheelchair to my charity. This valuable machine is valued around $20,000 and fits a very small person. Thank you Rachel!

10) December '14 I was contacted by Emerald Isle, a recycling company in Mirimar Florida that had a large amount of brand new, unused plastic caps they wanted to donate to Caps Of Love. I used the services of a local West Palm Beach recycling company TruGreen” to pick up 45 pallets of caps in two 53' semi-trailers and take them to their recycling plant in Belle Glade for processing. 100% of the proceeds went directly into the Caps Of Love wheelchair bank account without ever seeing or touching a single cap! Thank you for this amazingly generous donation. 

11) December '14 we held the first annual Caps Of Love Christmas Caroling Event. 11 volunteers gathered at the Darcy Hall Nursing Home in West Palm Beach to sing carols to the residents. It was very festive and a wonderful time had by all. We would like to sing for a children's hospital in the 2015 Christmas season.

12) January '15 I was a featured speaker at two synagogues in southern Palm Beach County for their “Mitzvah Days” I taught the children about giving back, helping the less fortunate, helping our environment, and being active in their communities.

13) January '15 saw the very first shipment of plastic caps from the American Airlines Arena (formerly known as the Miami Arena) where the Miami Heat basketball team plays. Their concession stands collected a huge box of plastic caps that were delivered to my facility by a Palm Beach Resurfacing truck. I look forward to their continued support. Thank you to Diane Buhler, founder of the charity Beach Clean, for spear-heading this initiative and making it happen and to Yvene of Levy Restaurants for his support.

14) In January '15 we had “Jet Blue Airlines” join our team of collectors. Their flight staff has been collecting their caps already for months and are anxious to be involved. I won a free trip for 2 to California in March from them and their "Flying It Forward" program to spread the environmental and humanitarian message in 3 school speeches there.

15) January '15 I shipped out the first out-of-state wheelchair to a 9 year old girl, Kadie, in Springfield MO. She has spinal bifida and cannot use her legs. She has outgrown her wheelchair and was in need of a new one. Thanks to the donation of chairs from WheelchairFoundation.org, I was able to ship her a brand new wheelchair in her size of her very own. See the website and Caps Of Love facebook for photos and full coverage from Feb. 

 

16) On February '15 we shipped out our 6th commercial load of 14 tons of plastic caps bound for recycling in Kentucky. That brings our total to over 54 TONS in just a few years! This shipment was paid for by a generous personal check from Hector Padilla, a Home Depot executive in Atlanta. His personal support is just wonderful and so very appreciated. At the event we also presented 2 needy, handicapped students from the Royal Palm School in Lantana, Fla with free wheelchairs. This was a very emotional presentation and covered by local channel 5 news. (coverage video posted on website and Facebook page)

17) In February '15 cardboard box manufacturer “Pratt Industries” donated 360 heavy duty boxes FREE and had them delivered to my facility. This has a retail value of over $1,200 and will save me many hours of picking up recycled grill boxes I had been using for years. The Home Depot stores in District 154 are now continuing to donate more of these boxes as I had used up the original donated shipment.

19) May ‘15' saw the first 6 tons of caps to be recycled in West Palm Beach by Trugreen from our facility thanks to donated transport provided by "Two Men And A Truck" moving company and forklift services donated by "Milwork Sales" for the second time.

20)March ’15 Marc Lanz and the crew of the Technip ship “Deep Blue” in the Gulf of Mexico saved up four 55 gallon drums of caps and had them delivered to my home. The international crew did an amazing job to help our kids.

21) March ’15 The Florida Panthers Hockey team did a huge presentation in front of about 20,000 hockey fans attending a game in the BBT center in Sunrise Fla. They did a video montage of Caps of Love for their “Heroes Among Us” segment. I am still getting calls from collectors that started after seeing the professional video. The video is posted on my Caps Of Love Facebook page on March 19th.

22) June ’15 the American food producing giant “Cargill” donated 60,000 unusable five-gallon lids for recycling. They got Old Dominion Freight Lines to deliver it from their plant in Georgia to our recycler in Kentucky for free! That is a massive amount of plastic that we do not need to sort and will be processed with our next shipment for recycling. It is straight profit for the wheelchairs with no effort on our part! Just incredible generosity!

23) July ’15 was our 8th commercial shipment of 14 tall pallets of sorted caps bound for recycling in Kentucky. Transportation provided by FedEx in their own trucks and loading services donated for the 3rd time by Millwork Sales. 70+ volunteers made it a total success. We gave away 8 wheelchairs and received 2 donated wheelchairs at the event.

24) July ’15 Publix Grocery stores posted a professionally filmed video on their website for Caps Of Love which they have selected for their community service outreach program. I get my cap collection containers by reusing the bakery buckets and lids donated from 5 local Publix stores in the Lake Worth area.

25) Aug ’15 Home Depot placed a 3 minute video of me and the Caps Of Love story on their national CareersDepot website. Professionally filmed months ago, it is a wonderful introduction to the partnership between my employer, Home Depot, and my charity over the years. Go to https://careers.homedepot.com/ and click on the video tab to watch it.

26) Aug ’15 My brother-in-law, Bill Mathieu, connected me to a man clearing out a warehouse full of miscellaneous equipment. The owner told Bill that the “Cap Lady” could have all the wheelchairs and related equipment for $2,400. In two days my husband, 2 sons, myself and 4 volunteers we were able to recover 12 motorized scooters, 7 powered lift gates, rolling walkers, and 4 manual wheelchairs in all. Once refurbished, these will help dozens of needy individuals gain mobility.

27) Aug ’15 Our 19th wheelchair recipient, Natalie, received her motorized scooter so she can attend Polo Park Middle School as an independent student. She is 13 and has AT, a progressive spinal muscular atrophy and peripheral neuropathy degeneration that does not allow her to stand or walk unassisted. She now rules the school and is able to join her friends in all outdoor activities. See Facebook photos and story.

28) Nov ’15 saw the 10th commercial shipment of polypropylene and polyethylene caps/lids off for recycling. This brings our total to over 110 TONS from my facility! This does not include several commercial donations nationwide directly to my recycling plant to be credited to Caps Of Love. After we loaded the 53 semi-trailer with 14 TONS of caps we presented a 14 year old boy, Jandy, with a brand new, specialty wheelchair. He has CP and suffers from Epileptic seizures and was in great need. His new wheelchair was funded by a donation by the Asset Protection team at Home Depot district 154 in South Florida. Home Depot offers a matching grant program so this gift will be duplicated for another lucky child next quarter!

29) Nov ’15 The ship “Deep Blue” operating in the Gulf of Mexico had 1,750 feet of unused 8” polyethylene pipe. They donated the pipe, cut into 40’ lengths and donated the shipping from Mobile, Alabama to my recycling center in Russellville, Kentucky. The result of 9,950lbs of unusable pipe was almost $2,500 directly paid to Caps Of Love!

30) Dec ’15 We donated the second motorized wheelchair to an 18 year old boy, Josiah, at Palm Beach Lakes high School in Riviera Beach, Fla. Josiah has CP and had aged out of the Shriner’s wheelchair program. He works and goes to school thanks to his motorized wheelchair for transportation. His wheelchair was like new and valued over $8,000. His joy was shared by all who witnessed the presentation.

31) Dec ’15 Brianna, a student at Lee Middle School in Sharpsburg, GA told her mother, Jennifer Huff, about the Caps Of Love program at her school. Jennifer works for IPN USA, a large plastics manufacturer in Peachtree City, GA. IPN offered to donate their bins of scrap plastic (all polyethylene) and transport it free to my recycler. This generous donation of scrap plastic came to a massive $3,500 in value that will help several children receive the wheelchairs they desperately need

 

I would like to thank each one of you for your continued support. Without the ongoing commitment from so many volunteers and businesses, I would not be able to have this success. So many wonderful individuals have given me their time and energy to promote this charity through word of mouth, collecting caps, or manually helping in the sorting process or loading of shipping containers. I am very grateful for their participation.

 

 I look forward to a very positive 2016 with the donating of the 50+ wheelchairs being refurbished to be donated in the United States and assisting the handicapped through our environmental awareness training to increase recycling in our country.  

Valerie Mathieu


"Caps of Love" Founder and President

About Us

 

 

 

Do you like what we do and want to help? Read more about us.

 

My mission is an ongoing collection of 3 grades of plastic caps. Speaking to local organizations, schools, churches, and clubs to increase awareness of the importance of recycling and how to participate in my charity. 

 

 

I have posted upcoming "Cap Sorting Parties" on my website under "weekly drop off times" as the volume always exceeds my ability to sort in a timely fashion. Volunteers will be asked to help remove metal debris, paper liners, ensure the 3 grades of plastic are separated propely, and remove trash from collected caps  .

At this time, about 5% to 10% of all collected material must be discarded due to metal beer caps, alluminum pull-tabs, metal jar lids, and trash thrown in with the caps. All this devalues the plastic for recycling!

 

The sorting is time-consuming and tedious but necessary to provide a pure plastic result for recycling.

 The 3 different grades of sorted caps are then placed in large recycled boxes that I use for storage until they are shipped to the recycling plant.