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Local girl recycling cans to raise money to see her siblings


IDAHO FALLS — A local girl with a big wish is asking community members to think twice before throwing away their next soda or beer can.

Tasha Holmstead is a 10-year-old living in Idaho Falls, but she has three older half-siblings who live over 1,000 miles away in Oklahoma. Tasha is the only child from her mom’s second marriage, and early on in her life, she grew close to the kids from her mom’s first marriage. But due to the distance and the financial costs it takes to visit her siblings, Holmstead hasn’t seen them in person as much as she would like.

“Sometimes I see families playing together, and I get sad because I remember I used to do that with my sisters and brother,” Tasha says. “We have a bunch of pictures of them, (but) it makes me sad to know they moved to Oklahoma.”

Tasha’s mom, Tera, is a single mom who’s watched how not having all the siblings close by affects Tasha. She knows Tasha wants to see them more often because she’s happy with them, but financially it’s a struggle since Tera says she’s on disability and can’t afford it.

The two of them came up with the idea last December to recycle cans, then put that money towards a trip to Oklahoma for Tasha. After months of slowly collecting a can here and there, the mom and daughter decided to take to social media and ask the community to donate their empty cans to Tasha.

“We (thought) that’s a way we can save money,” Tera explained. “We use those cans, then we throw them away, and that’s money we’re throwing away.”

Tasha’s original goal was to collect $1,000 — to cover plane tickets and have spending money — but has since bumped it up to $3,000 with the hopes of visiting her siblings more than once. As of Friday, she’s raised $336, thanks to money from recycling cans at Idaho Falls Pacific Steel and Recycling and monetary donations from community members.

“We’ve only gone there a few times,” Tasha says about Pacific Steel and Recycling. “But I’m surprised how much we got from cans.”

Tasha receives .35 cents per pound of aluminum cans. The companies’ Idaho Falls branch manager Kevin Greener told Tasha if she reaches $500, he will match that.

“We were impressed with Tasha’s ability to set a goal and find a way to achieve it,” Greener told “It has been a fun experience for us to see her work toward success and would encourage the community to donate their recyclables to help Tasha reach her goal.”

Along with recycling cans, Tasha is also willing to clean houses and do yard work to earn money.

“I love that she wants this for herself and is willing to do it because I think having a good work ethic gets you through life,” Tera says.

Tasha will pick up cans from residents in Pocatello to Rexburg. To coordinate pick-up times contact Tera at (385) 314-0395. Cans can also be dropped off at Tera’s parent’s home at 1873 Gallup in Idaho Falls. If you’d like to take cans or scrap metal to Pacific Steel and Recycling yourself, you can tell them you’d like to donate the money to go towards Tasha.

Monetary donations can be made on the CashApp @$terahol and Venmo @Tera-Holmstead.

Our attorneys tell us we need to put this disclaimer in stories involving fundraisers: does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries.

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