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A new non-profit program designed by movie and TV “extras” for people in extra need, changing the world, one can at a time

Los Angeles – December 18, 2006 – “Mystery Mike” Hennessey is announcing the launch of a new non-profit outreach program in Los Angeles, EXTRA Cans For The Needy (ECFTN). Mystery Mike is the founder of ECFTN, a program designed by a group of Movie and TV “EXTRAS” in Hollywood that took the initiative to collect all the empty bottles and cans on every movie and TV set to deliver them to the homeless and the needy.

“As a man living with AIDS who has been on the verge of being homeless and growing up on welfare as a child in a housing project, I can identify with people who are hurting and in need,” said Mystery Mike, originally from Woburn, Massachusetts who moved to Hollywood to pursue his dream after being given a short time to live 17 years ago. “It is my goal and mission to make sure these people are not ashamed of their situation and this will happen when people open their hearts and recyclables to these beautiful angels.”

ECFTN is committed to “Changing the world, one can at a time,” a phrase representing the compassion and mission behind their force. With a program they are hoping will turn cans to gold for many people in need, ECFTN is spreading the word throughout L.A., and the country, hoping to inspire thousands to take part in this initiative. This initiative isn’t limited to “extras” on movie sets. Anyone can participate and take some ’extra’ time each day to collect any empty cans they have at home, at school, at the office, virtually anywhere. Mystery Mike is visualizing “GOLD” Bins outside of every store where people may drop off their empties for the homeless and the needy. The homeless would be free to take the deposited cans without having to rummage through dirty garbage and recycling bins. The vision is similar to the "Take a Penny, Leave a Penny” idea used in many cafes. Cans can be turned in for cash in eleven states including California (CA), Connecticut (CT), Delaware (DE), Hawaii (HI), Iowa (IA), )Maine (ME), Massachusetts (MA), Michigan (MI), New York (NY), Oregon (OR) and Vermont (VT).

With the holidays around the corner, it is the hope of ECFTN that if everyone who ’can,’ will take all of their empties from Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, New Years and other holiday parties, and donate them to the cause, there will be hundreds of dollars available for the homeless.

“I really wanted to make people aware of (ECFTN) for the holidays, since we anticipate that there will be hundreds of thousands of dollars in empty cans and bottles just simply ’recycled’ when they could absolutely help those in need,” said Mystery Mike. “We want people to not only recycle, but recycle a life with extra cans for the needy.”

It is the goal of ECFTN to turn this into a contest for school children and teens to see who can collect the most cans and bottles for the needy. Eventually, the organization would like to see schools, churches, temples, AIDS & Health Foundations, utilize this as a means of fundraising.

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