75-Year-Old Gifts Nativity Scene Paid for With Recycled Cans, Bottles

Bonnie Cunningham created the manger for the town of Hubbardston, Massachusetts but the town wasn't sold

A 75-year-old resident of Hubbardston, Massachusetts is putting the final touches on a nativity scene she constructed for the town -- paid for entirely by recycling.

A few year ago, Bonnie Cunningham noticed that the town common in Hubbardston had a Christmas tree, a Menorah, but no nativity scene. She decided she’d raise money to buy the nativity scene and gift it to the town.

For a year and a half she picked cans and bottles off of the streets. She then put a bin at the end of her driveway asking others for help; 11,600 bottles and cans recycled later, she had enough to buy a used set of the figures on Craigslist.

But when she approached the Board of Selectmen at a meeting, they said, "no thank you."

In a statement, chairman Dan Galante wrote, "The Board of Selectmen felt as though the existing display (Christmas tree and Menorah) was appropriately representing the holiday season."

Undeterred, Cunningham talked to the new minister at the Evangelical Church of Hubbardston.

"He was absolutely delighted. He said it was an answer to their prayers," she said.

Now, with the nativity scene in its new home, Cunningham is looking forward to "a good Christmas."

"It’ll make me happy every time I go by it," she says, "and I hope all others who contributed, even if it was leaving a few cans, will feel they had a part in it too.”

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