Headshot Photo of Jordan Elist
2013 Award Recipient


Project Save a Bottle, Save a Life

Location Beverly Hills, CA

Issue Area Climate Justice/Environment | Philanthropy

Jordan spent several summers volunteering at his local food bank. One day when food was running low, the organization was forced to give families a less-than-full order of groceries. This was a transformative moment for Jordan and inspired the creation of Save a Bottle, Save a Life. The nonprofit provides canned food donations to local food banks, paying for these donations 5 to 10 cents at a time through the collection and recycling of bottles and cans. Jordan has engaged his whole community in this effort, collecting recyclables from house to house.

Save a Bottle, Save a Life has raised $22,500, with seven teens now collecting recyclables from 180 homes each week. Jordan has transformed countless bags of cans and bottles into nearly 30,000 pounds of canned goods distributed to 400 clients of partner food banks. He regularly advocates on behalf of those experiencing food scarcity and presents at schools to encourage teens to start similar programs, working to inspire more people in his community and abroad.

Although the concept is simple, the impact has been tremendous.

Jordan Elist
“It is never too late, too early, or too often TO GIVE BACK AND MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE”
Helen Diller