Imagine the determination of working toward a goal for five years – especially if you`re only six years old when you start!
Eleven year old Helene Rempel has done it!
“It feels really great to, like, have it all done, and I’m really excited to send the money in!” says the young fundraising dynamo.
“It’s really awesome to know that I collected that much!”
What she’s collected is more than 7-hundred pounds of pop can tabs.
This story begins five years ago, when Helene was in grade one, and learned that 1-thousand pounds of pop can tabs can purchase a wheelchair for a child in need.
So how many boxes is 1-thousand pounds?
“About 50 boxes” said six year old Helene at the time.
When asked how many boxes she had filled so far, the little girl shyly replied…”About six.”
But word spread, and the collection grew.
Even Victoria’s street community got on board, and Helene and her family received a wonderful donation when they visited a shelter for the homeless in early 2014.
After that story aired on CHEK, Salt Spring islander Tom Thomas made the trek to Helene’s school, Eagle View Elementary, with a huge donation!
Now, with Helene off to middle school in the fall, it’s time to wrap up this remarkable fundraiser.
Helene’s grandmother Cherri Appl gets emotional as she thinks back.
“Yes, it’s been five long years, we’re very proud.” says Appl, getting a little choked.
“I feels good that she’s accomplished her goal…well…close to it…”
Helene’s family supported her every step of the way, even as they watched the price of aluminum fall.
Appl explains “When Helene first started it was double the price for aluminum.
“It’s come down to half the price it used to be when she was in grade one…”
And that’s why Ellice Recycling stepped up.
“We’re matching the donation…” says Stephen Hay of Ellice Recycling.
“$5-hundred dollars will be the total. So it was $248 for her aluminum, and then we bumped it up to $500.”
Salt Spring islander Tom Thomas couldn’t miss this moment, and hopped on a ferry, then drove to the recycling depot.
“I’m tickled pink that I could help.” says Thomas.
Then, pointing to the huge crate of pop can tabs, Thomas exclaims: “That impresses me!”
The $5-hundred dollars will be donated to the Robert Hampson fund.
“And what they do there” explains Helene “is they get a wheelchair for a kid in need of a wheelchair, and I really am excited about that.”
Wiping an emotional tear from her eye, Helene’s grandmother proudly states “Well, this is one chapter closed, and we’ll see what she does with the next few years…”
Yes, as far as this fundraising dynamo is concerned, we certainly will.