For the past 30 years, one 86-year-old Georgia man has spent much of his free time recycling trash and donating the $400,000 he’s earned from it to a local charity.
At first, Johnny Jennings started recycling as a way to bond with his son Brent, but over the years the hobby has become a lifelong devotion. “We used to use it as time together,” Brent explained. “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.”
Rather than save his recycling earning, Johnny decided to donate it to a local charity. “He went with a member of his church and when they got ready to leave, three little boys grabbed his legs and asked him if he would be their daddy,” Brent said. “He said right there, ‘I’m going to do what I can as long as I can for the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes.’”
Since that moment decades ago, Johnny has given every cent he’s earned from recycling to the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes Family Ministries, which provides care for troubled kids and families. Every year, Johnny donates a check to the charity ranging from $10,000 to $15,000 at the annual board meeting. And over the years, he’s donated about $400,000. “They’ve been a mom and dad to thousands of children through the children’s home,” said Brent. “My dad doesn’t see the $400,000. He sees the faces of those kids.”
Over the past 32 years, Johnny has recycled 9,810,063 lbs of paper, collected $20,275.20 worth of pennies, and saved 79,000 trees. “Mr. Jennings normally loads his truck by himself and that is a job in it’s self and did I mention he is 86 years old and had 2 mini strokes two weeks ago and when he got home from the hospital he didn’t let that stop him from getting back to his paper route? That is just how he is and he will not stop,” Shay Drennan-Love said. “If he just quits he won’t last long. It’s just what he does,” Brent said.
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[Featured image: Facebook/Shay Drennan-Love]