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86-Year Old Donates Profits from Recycling Business to Charity

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abcnews.go.com

If you haven’t heard, recycling can be a powerful tool. Johnny Jennings, an 86-year old from Georgia, has been recycling most of his life. Doing so has not only allowed him to help the planet but also donate more than $400,000 to charity over the last 30 years.

Jennings first began recycling many years ago as a way to bond with his son, Brent.

“We used to use it as time together,” Brent shares. “We’d walk roads and pick up cans and sell it and take the money and put it in a savings account. When I bought my first house, I had enough from recycling to make my first down payment on my home.”

During the more than 30 years since Brent left home in 1985 following his high school graduation, Jennings has collected recyclable items from his neighbors. He also drives around to local businesses offices and churches collecting items.

All of the recyclables Jennings has been able to collect in the last 30 or so years has helped him to raise $400,000, all of which has been donated to Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries, a charity that helps take care of underprivileged children.

Brent says that his father once took a tour of the charity, and as he was about to leave, three kids grabbed him and asked him to become their dad. “He said right there, ‘I’m going to do what I can as long as I can for the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes,'” Brent explains.

Once a year, Jennings, who is now a trustee emeritus at the charity, gives Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries between $10,000 and $15,000, based on how much he earned from recycling during the year.

“They’ve been a mom and dad to thousands of children through the children’s home,” Brent says about his parents. “My dad doesn’t see the $400,000. He sees the faces of those kids.”

A friend of the family recently shared Jennings’ recycling story on a Facebook post that has been shared over 10,000 times. Brent says his father is humbled now that his story has gone viral.

It just goes to show the power of recycling, in case you haven’t heard.