by: Kimberly Richardson, WSBTV.com
ATOOSA COUNTY, Ga. – An 86-year-old Ringgold man has been collecting items for recycling for 32 years and is doing something incredible with the money he’s received.
Johnny Jennings, 86, has been collecting since 1985, Jennings’ friend, Shay Drennan-Love, told Channel 2 Action News. During that time, Jennings has worn out three trucks and countless sets of tires.
Jennings has earned a grand total of $400,000 since he started his journey, all of which he’s donated to the Georgia Baptist Home for Children.
The Georgia Baptist Home for Children is a Christian ministry of services designed to promote the spiritual, physical and emotional well-being of children, youth and families.
Dr. Kenneth Z. Thompson, president and CEO of The Georgia Baptist Home for Children said:
“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. We are so blessed to have someone of his character dedicated to serving our ministry.”
Jennings sold 401,280 pounds of paper, 51,565 aluminum cans and 32,040 pennies in 2016 alone.
Over the course of 32 years, Drennan-Love said Jennings’ has sold 810,063 pounds of paper and $20,275 worth of pennies. That’s a total of 79,000 trees saved.
“During the week, you can usually see Johnny driving around town picking up paper from local businesses and churches and taking it to the Chattanooga Recycle Center on Central Avenue,” Drennan-Love said.
From there, Jennings heads home and loads up his truck again with recyclables that people have dropped off at his house.
“Johnny normally loads his truck by himself, and that is a job in itself, and did I mention he is 86 years old and had two small strokes just two weeks ago?” Drennan-Love said.
That didn’t stop him from getting back to his paper route. When Jennings’ got home from the hospital, he went right back to work.
“That is just how he is, and he will not stop until the undertaker turns his toes up,” Drennan-Love said.”That is what he tells everyone.”