Collecting Cans for a Good Cause

Many people pause for a soda during the day, but what do you do with the soda can after you're finished? You probably throw it away, but one Sikeston woman has found, those empty cans can mean big bucks for a good cause.

Della Hubbard started collecting cans a few years ago, after her friend's little boy died of cancer, he went to St. Jude for treatment. It's a place that one Sikeston man knows all too well. He says the doctors and nurses at St. Jude are the reason he's alive today.

John Engram says, "Every year is a year I shouldn't of had." 37 years ago, Engram found out he had a rare bone cancer. At just seven years old, Engram had to go to St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis, to have experimental chemotherapy. "The people were great," Engram says. "The doctors and nurses were wonderful, the treatments were terrible but they made it as easy as they could."

Engram has a special place in his heart for St. Jude, so does Della Hubbard. She knows several children who have gone there. "It's a wonderful place, but you hope you never need it for your family of course," Hubbard says. "But they treat the patients like family and it's a wonderful place." It's helping patients like 16 year old Carson Peters, nine year old Hannah McCellan, and 17 year old Dustan Heaton. All these kids have cancer, and are going to the Memphis hospital for treatment. They're just a few of the young faces that led Hubbard to start her can collecting project. "I got a trailer from one of our local gins and put it outside a new convenience store north of town, and it's just been going good ever since," Hubbard says.

It didn't take long for the word to get out about this project on Highway 61 in Sikeston. In just a little over two years, they've raised 5000 dollars for St. Jude. "I had no idea how long it would take to fill that trailer, or how many of them we would fill, but it's been phenomenal." Throwing cans in a trailer may not seem like much, but in Sikeston they hope it helps save lives. Hubbard says she plans on doing the project as long as people keep bringing their cans.