In April 1996, Bill Prodanyk started Pop Cans For Charity together with Rev. Father Roman Kocur. With the help of then Avenor Paper Industries (on Neebing Avenue) and their help with signs and bins, the Charity Project continued to expand and grow with numerous businesses in the city asking for bins at their locations and companies wishing to institute recycling programs. Fr Roman was transferred to Saskatchewan three years later and Alf Johnson, a retired high school teacher, graciously came on board becoming Chairman and has since taken over assisting and developing Pop Cans For Charity with Bill.
We wish to acknowledge a dedicated Volunteer, Butch Geddes, who was a strong supporter and member of our Charity Group and passed away in 2008. Butch "Pop Can Man" is truly missed. The Volunteers are the main stay of this organization and we thank each and every one for their continued, strong support to the people of Thunder Bay.
In 2002 Mr. Bannon on the Fort William First Nations Reserve invited PCFC to locate a Collection Bin at his Gas Bar and Restaurant and shortly after other requests were made by other First Nations' Business People to do the same. The requests continued to come in from Kakabeka, rural areas of Thunder Bay, Nipigon and Red Rock, Ontario.
Today with several volunteers and the strong support of Lakehead Community Living with the addition of Mark and Ron giving of their time and efforts, Pop Cans For Charity has grown to a strong, respected Charity that simply uses the donations of Aluminum Cans throughout Thunder Bay, Kakabeka, Paipoonge, Nipigon, Red Rock and rural Thunder Bay to make a difference. Taking the cans to the best, and most reputable Recycling Company, Lakehead Scrap Metal, a very decent and honest exchange has been made for the value of the recyclable metal and the monies gained help support the charities and needs of many in Thunder Bay and area. Since the institution of recycling spirits bottles, we have many people who give these to us to use to help our citizens.
The monies earned have been donated to charities that can be seen on the seperate Wilson's Business Solution signs on our bins and the Sponsors Page on this web site. In the last few years a great deal of donations of food have been distributed from PCFC to help feed many Children and needy families at the Dew Drop Inn, AIDS Society, Mother Hubbards Cupboard, The Thunder Bay Christian Society, and more. Since 2004 there have been many requests for food for feeding needy people and children.
We at Pop Cans For Charity we're one of the very first local groups who mandated and felt very strong about our donations being kept 100% local and do not provide funds to any group or organization which is required to send or share any portion of our donations to any agency outside of Thunder Bay or the local area. The money raised here must be used for our citizens in the region. At one time funds were used to assist a mother and her child to get to Toronto Childrens Hospital in an emergency request from a local minister.
Please help support the needy by donating your aluminum cans, spirits bottles and any scrap aluminum so we may continue to help our local friends and neighbours.