South Dakota man recycles his collection of a million aluminum cans to raise $105K for Make-A-Wish

Gerald Schied (right) and his son stand in front of their containers for collecting cans.
A South Dakota man spent a month transporting aluminum cans and other metals to a recycling facility. Now he's mailing the check to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Gerald Schied, 65, said he always collected cans. One day eleven years ago, when he was sitting with his sons, he was wondering what to do with them.
"I kept seeing Make-A-Wish commercials on TV and in the newspapers, something got me dressed, I looked at my son and said, 'Why don't we just get them and leave the check on Make-A-Wish '"said Schied.
The first donation of arbitration cans and scrap resulted in a check for $ 65,000. Schied received a check on Tuesday for $ 40,000 for his latest collection, which he has been working on for three years. According to his count, he had collected more than a million cans.
"I think we were almost a million and a half but we were shy about that," he said.
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To make his collection process easier, Schied built his own can breaker. The crushed cans are then stored in large containers, which he calls "totes". Each bag can hold about 9,000 cans, he said.
"I had 131 (dead people) sent home and stacked them in two layers," said Schied.
Apart from cans, Schied collects various pieces of aluminum from engines, boat parts and even cars that have been totaled.
Aside from his own donations, Schied said he has a system of 50 people with barrels from which he collects cans and more than 200 other people who give him cans. He is now working on setting up drop-off points in Huron for local residents.
Sue Salter, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish South Dakota and Montana, praised Schied as a “powerful” forever force and described him as “one of those unique personalities with the ability to put a whole community behind these efforts. "
Make-A-Wish helps fund the wishes of children aged 3 to 18 with serious illnesses.
"One of the most incredible things about Gerald, I think, is his heart. He has the biggest heart for children, especially children with critical illnesses," Salter told USA TODAY on Thursday. "And he not only collects money for us, sensitizes him to our mission, but he also serves as one of our wish-fulfillers out here as an active volunteer ... The work that Gerald does and the people who support him in this project awaken them Hope for these children we serve and their families to live on. "
With the support of the community, the can collection system from Schied continues to grow and becomes more and more complex. And Schied does not intend to discontinue his collection so quickly.
"I'll work another year until I'm 66, then I'll retire and yes, I'll make cans after that," said Schied of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader of the USA TODAY Network.
Featuring: Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY
This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: South Dakota Man Donates $ 105,000 to Make-A-Wish After Recycling 1 million cans

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