Seniors collecting bottles to send message

CORTLAND – Area volunteers with the Alliance for Senior Action Warren-Youngstown have been collecting empty prescription bottles to create a replica of the Capitol building to send to lawmakers in Washington, D.C., urging them to protect Social Security and Medicare.

A group of volunteers with the assistance of Cortland police officers met recently at the police department, which was a drop-off site for the bottles.

Liz Knauf, co-chair of the Alliance for Senior Action Warren-Youngs-town Area, said plans are to take all the bottles and create a mini Capitol building.

Currently, a 6-foot-tall prescription bottle statue is displayed at local senior centers and conventions in Columbus.

The volunteers and police removed the bottle labels and emptied more than 50 pounds of pills from the containers.

Knauf said the collection is part of a campaign to preserve Medicare and send a message to Congress and the White House.

Cortland resident Juanita James, coordinator of the event, said the large prescription bottle has been used as a prop at many presentations to area seniors and retirees to help individuals be better informed about Medicare.

“We are going to send Washington a loud and clear message – don’t cut Medicare. We need to send that message not to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. We need to increase our care so we can spend more time in our homes. Don’t put us out as though we have no value,” James said.

The deadline for the collection effort is Sept. 10, and the completed Capitol building will be sent following that deadline.

Knauf said those dropping off bottles are asked to remove the labels.

For pick-up of bottles, call Knauf at 330-583-3504, Charlene Allen at 330-360-1901 or James at 330-638-4333, or email