Everyday Heroes

This Retired Veteran Gives Away Every Dollar He Earns

Every cent this retiree makes goes to charity.

After working most of their lives, the transition to retirement can be challenging for some. As sweet as it is to not have to go to work, some find it downright boring.

Don Collins was once such retiree, and he decided to do something about his boredom. First he started off tinkering on work projects around the house. This resulted in frequent trips to his local Lowe’s store, and before you know it, he was asked to start working there.

Collins agreed to work weekends, but not because he needed the money. Instead, he gives his entire paycheck to various veteran and cancer research organizations. Yes, that’s every penny he’s earned from Lowe’s.

So how did this come about?

“I found out, ‘Hey, we can get along without this paycheck,'” Collins said. “We want to give back. You’ve got the blinded, hospitalized, wounded, disabled—and I like to contribute a little bit.”

The 75-year-old spent 32 years in the Army, flying helicopters over Vietnam and working at the highest levels in the Department of Defense. Even though he keeps the military close to his heart, Collins didn’t want to donate exclusively to military charities. His wife is a breast cancer survivor, and he himself beat prostate cancer. So, with his weekend earnings, he gives to cancer research organizations as well as charities that help veterans.

“I can remember World War II, and I can remember some of my relations who were in the world war and also in Korea,” Collins said. “One of the things they instilled in me is that we’ve got to understand our freedom and we’ve got to participate.”

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And participate he does. Collins has been doing this, quietly, for six years.

His donations have helped the following organizations: American Legion, Blinded Veterans, USO Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America, Wounded Warrior Project, Breast Cancer Research, Prostate Cancer Research, and Susan G. Komen, among others.

Talk about a hero.