Do not throw out all those beads you received during the Gasparilla Pirate Festival.
The MacDonald Training Center (MTC) in Tampa, which empowers and helps find employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is recycling all that pirate booty into a great opportunity.
In a partnership with the City of Tampa, the MTC is recycling your party beads to be used next year.
People with autism, down syndrome, hearing impairments and other disabilities get on-the-job training at the MTC. Over the next few weeks they will recycle and repackage beads to be sold back to Gasparilla krewes and revelers for next year's shindig.
Fine arts students at MTC even painted a series of festive recycling bins for your Gasparilla beads that are now at four community centers around Tampa:
Port Tampa Community Center
Kate Jackson Community Center
Loretta Ingraham Recreation Complex
Copeland Park Center.
You can also drop your beads off the MacDonald Training Center at 5420 W. Cypress Street in Tampa.
The money collected by selling the beads will fund MTC programs.