86-Year-Old Donates $400,000 Raised From Recycling To Children's Cause

"Our generation and the ones to follow could learn a lot from Mr. Jennings," said Shay Drennan-Love in a Facebook post, which has since gone viral.

Environmental protection is the overarching rationale for recycling. Another reason to separate your steel cans, old electronics, and glass bottles is purely monetary — you can receive cash back on those items. And hey, you may even be able to start a solid nest egg fund.

That's what 86-year-old Johnny Jennings did ... for 32 years, KFOR reports

"The first memory I have of my dad is of us recycling," Jennings' son, Brent Jennings, said to CNN. "We did that until I was about 17."

The Jennings began recycling paper in the mid-1980s, and Johnny Jennings taught Brent the importance of saving. Profits were funneled into a savings account, and Brent later used this money for his first down payment. 

Johnny Jennings continued recycling and storing away the profits. Each year, he'd donate the cash — anywhere from $10,000 to $35,000 — to Georgia Baptist Children's Homes & Family Ministries. 

"When I was 18 years old, I visited the children’s home and we had a meal with the people there,” Jennings said to CNN. “As we got up to leave, three little boys grabbed me around the knee and asked me to be their daddy. From that point on, I did all I could. I give them food, clothes, whatever they could use.”

Altogether, Jennings has contributed $400,000.

"He's a one-of-a-kind gentleman, and I'm proud to say he's my dad," said Brent Jennings. "He's not only my dad. He's the dad to thousands of children throughout the state of Georgia."

According to a viral Facebook post, Jennings' favorite quote comes from Pablo Picasso: "The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away."

It's fitting for a man who has given so much away.

Banner/thumbnail credit: Flickr user Orin Zebest

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