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Local 9-year-old collects cans, donates proceeds

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Trash Kid PKG

CARTERVILLE (WSIL) -- A local nine-year-old boy is trying to do his part to give back to the community, while at the same time helping the environment.

Draegan Bandy spends his free time "canning" and not for his own gain.

"We collect cans. We don't really choose the type of cans we collect, but it has to be made of tin. So we find the cans, we put them in a garbage bag, and once we get a few bags, or enough that it's worth something."

Bandy spends months collecting cans before taking them to be recycled where they're 40 cents a pound.

"I've always had a thing to collect shiny things, so I collect cans and stuff. I also collect, once in a while, I collect, I'll find pieces of metal, parts of cans you take those, too. I decided to start doing cans because that was a pretty big money maker," explains Bandy.

But he's not saving that money for himself. "I donated $60 to Honor Flight. I have a hat pin right here from it. That was my reward for doing that. The other reward that I actually cherish more than the hat pin is the fact that I can help someone else."

Kristina Austin, Event Coordinator for Veteran's Honor Flight of Southern Illinois, says every donation makes a difference.

"We were very honored for this nine-year-old boy to make that decision to choose to donate to us. He said his grandfather was a veteran, and so he was just really excited to be involved."

"I mean, I'm not okay with people throwing out cans, but it's a good business for me because it's helping out other people. It's helping out them, it's helping out the Earth because I don't want the Earth to die."

Bandy has also donated money to Toys for Tots and the Cambria Toy Drive. He says his next donation will go toward helping the homeless.