Inmates at MN jail use 'My Coke Rewards' program to donate to charity


Inmates at a Minnesota jail donated nearly $200 to charity last year using the "My Coke Rewards" program.

It was part of a jailhouse project as a way to help teach that giving is more important than receiving, a post on the Isanti County Sheriff's Office Facebook page explains, and to give those in jail the chance to "make a positive impression while living in a tough situation."

The Isanti County Jail implemented the program in January 2015, where inmates drop the caps of their Coca-Cola products (some inmates – depending on their jail classification and behavior – can purchase pop with their own money), then a staff member at the jail enters the code on the cap into the jail's "My Coke Rewards" account, the sheriff's office says.

Then, every three months, inmates would vote on a charity where they'd donate the money.

By the end of the year, they collected 12,730 points, totaling $190.95 – and every cent was donated to St. Judes Children's Research Hospital. (Each time the jail held a vote, St. Judes was the winner.)

It may not be much money – but in 2014, those caps were just thrown in the trash, Sgt. Eric Nelson wrote in an editorial published by Isanti County News.

The sheriff's office hopes to donate even more money this year, and has also asked the community to save their Coke caps to make a donation to charity "instead of tossing away the opportunity to make a positive impact," the Facebook post notes.

The community can also bring their Coke caps to the jail and staff will enter the codes through their rewards account, a comment on Facebook notes.

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