POINTE-CLAIRE – Maurice Parkes, 82, and his neighbour, Lynn Coughlin, have raised thousands of dollars for charity by collecting cans and plastic bottles.
They meet for coffee every morning at 10 a.m. and walk around the neighbourhood, stopping at dumpsters to surf for five cent cans.
Parkes said they’ve raised $11,550 from 230,000 cans and bottles over the past three years.
The money they raise goes to charities affiliated with the Saint John’s United Church, Meals on Wheels and various food banks and cancer research.
Maurice Parke and his neighbour Lynn Coughlin have raised thousands of dollars by collecting cans for charity, Friday, November 6, 2015. Howard Cohen/Global News
Maurice Parke and his neighbour Lynn Coughlin have raised thousands of dollars by collecting cans for charity, Friday, November 6, 2015.
Howard Cohen/Global News
Growing up in England, Parkes said he was kicked out of his home, along with his brother, when he was just 10-years-old.
He was ashamed of his past for a long time, but now wants to help the less fortunate – one can at a time.
Coughlin recognizes that there are low “profit margins” associated with the initiative, but that’s not discouraging the team, who work hard to make the project viable.
They said their success would not have been possible without the support of the community.
Parkes has already raised $400 this year to provide families with Christmas baskets.
The target is $1,000 and he promises to meet his commitment.
Parkes hopes that, with every dollar he collects, another Montrealer won’t have to go to sleep hungry during the holidays.