For 30 Years He Saves Every Penny He Gets From Recycling, Donates $400,000 To Help Children

Updated March 15, 2017

For three decades, one humble man worked tirelessly to achieve his mission. And now 86-year-old Johnny Jennings is finally cashing in. It all started when this Georgian visited Georgia Baptist Home for Children.

During his first visit in 1985, three boys ran up to Jennings begging him to adopt them. The sight broke his heart. Because he was not able to adopt a child of his own, he decided he would still help – in his own way.

For thirty years, he collected scraps and turned them in for cash. Although it took him a long time, he has finally raised $400,000, which will all go to help the Georgia Baptist Home for Children.

Learn more about this generous man below!

Jennings remembers that day in 1985 very clearly. Although it was three decades ago, it has stuck with him all his life.

“When we went to leave, these three little boys grabbed me by the knees and said, ‘Will you be my daddy?’” And I said I’ll do what I can. That took my heart, right there.”

That day one, Jennings collected every piece of paper and aluminum he could. From business, organizations, residences, and more. For 32 years, he piled up an impressive collection of waste.

And as he cashed it in, Jennings was given a whopping $400,000. He has turned it all over to the children’s home just like he promised all those years ago.

Because this humble man’s actions inspired his community, neighbors, friends, and well-wishers also donated to the charity.

Jennings has also spent his life collecting pennies. According to the generous man, he has collected more than 24 miles worth of pennies.

“84,480 is a mile of pennies. We finished 24 miles. We had most people from church collecting pennies.” Jennings said.

The Georgia Baptist Children’s Home president Dr. Kenneth Thompson admires the lengths that Jennings has gone to donate to the school.

“Johnny Jennings is one of the most gracious individuals I have ever met. I have always admired his quiet, humble spirit, his commitment to helping others and most of all, his love for the children in our care.”

Billionaire Warren Buffett has also made headlines for similar acts of generosity. In 2016, he donated $2.9 billion to charity, and he is only getting started. He plans to give away most of his multi-billion-dollar fortune. He figured it would be good to give back to society after a lifetime of success.

Forbes reports, “In 2010 Buffett and Gates created the Giving Pledge, which encourages the world’s billionaires to donate at least half of their fortunes to charity. Since then 154 people have made the pledge, including David Rockefeller and Mark Zuckerberg. Buffett has vowed to give away 99% of his wealth in his lifetime or within ten years of his estate being settled. Wednesday’s donations bring his lifetime giving to more than $28.5 billion.”

With people like Jennings in the world, we can hope for a good future. Have you ever worked hard to help someone like this? What is your story?

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