Guest post by John and Edie Purcell
RecycleForce specializes in electronic recycling, providing valuable job experience for ex-offenders. Our involvement with RecycleForce began in 2009 with a recycling day for the community surrounding the church we attended. We did several events and during those events, we became acquainted with a few of the guys, shared conversation and then returned to our normal lives. We felt we were doing our part; however, it seems the Lord had more in mind.
We began attending Northview Church 18 months ago. For Good Neighbor weekend, we suggested our Life Group partner with RecycleForce onsite at the Carmel campus. Gregg Keesling, president of RecycleForce, was excited for the opportunity to share their organization’s story with another part of metro Indy. Good Neighbor weekend recycling was not a big success in terms of how many items were brought for recycling; however, it began a deeper relationship for us with RecycleForce.
Our Life Group’s interest in RecycleForce led us to tour the recycling facility, located near Brookside Community Church. Charles “Preach” Neal, part of the leadership team, shared the challenges facing an individual reentering society from prison. There are restrictions where they can live and work and then there are the dangers of returning to a community that may have contributed to their failure. We learned of the hope that comes from having a job — a chance!
Why do we care about RecycleForce? We each need grace and forgiveness; without, it can be hard to rebound from mistakes and failures. RecycleForce is that grace to some who need it most! Through jobs provided, each individual at RecycleForce learns again how to function in a work environment. At RecycleForce, they learn in an environment that provides some forgiveness when they stumble. It is a tangible hope, “I have a job, I have a chance!”
Success is important to those going through the doors of RecycleForce and equally important to the entire community. We listen to the community, police and city safety officials speak of increased crime but this is a company that makes a difference in many lives by providing the hand-up that’s needed. We’ve come to appreciate that we are all simply one choice away from a bad (and sometimes life-altering) decision.
With a job at RecycleForce, each individual pays taxes, can pay child support and along the way can receive assistance in life skills. Reentry is difficult and with each obstacle the odds of returning to prison are high. We also understand that not everyone will choose to change.
A contribution of your electronic waste keeps “stuff” out of the landfills and provides work for individuals trying to rebuild their lives. Dismantled parts are sold to help fund the jobs and training at RecycleForce. This program provides hope to a parent who for the first time in a long time can properly support his kids.