Making a Difference One Can at a Time
By Betsy Millane
There is a man in Norwood, Bob Lieberman, who collects empty cans and bottles and brings them Walpole Redemption Center to redeem the deposits. He then donates all the money he collects to MAKE-A-WISH. So far, he has raised $2,000!
The first question I had for Lieberman was: “Why MAKE-A-WISH?”
He explained he had wanted to do something for years involving children. He saw a program on his computer about MAKE-A-WISH. The broadcast showed “suffering beyond belief” in children, young children, “children who have had short lives,” and thought about what he could do for them. “It means so much to the kids” to be given a free vacation from MAKE-A-WISH.
Lieberman has worked on golf courses and knew they would be easy to collect from the numerous trash receptacles.
He intended to collect 20,000 recyclables, which translates into $1000, and he did. But now his goal has shifted to collect 100,000 cans!
And he is well on his way. 40,000 is his latest count.
How does he do this?
Lieberman is an early riser. He goes to the golf courses, he visits the recycling centers. And he counts each one, storing 200 in each plastic bag he brings to the Walpole Redemption Center. Sometimes he has 3,000 cans to bring, which is quite a lot of cans to fit into his car, but he does it.
Along the way, Lieberman has encountered great kindness and generosity. While he was collecting the cans and bottles at the Robert E Lynch golf course in Brookline, a man approached him, asked him what he was doing, and then told Bob he was the CEO of MAKE-A-WISH. The manager of the course is now sorting the bottles and cans from the trash, to make things easier for Bob four days a week.
Even Liebeman’s dentist, who heard his story while he was in for an appointment on his birthday, told him it was a “very nice thing you are doing.” She found him in the parking lot as he prepared to depart. She said, “I am here because of what you said. My brother benefitted from MAKE A WISH. Here’s a donation.” The donation was the numbers of his birthday.
Lieberman been retired for 20 years but implements the skills he acquired as a salesperson. The best advice he had been given was to: “Plan your work and work your plan and you will do fine” He plans his collections every day, and is astounded at what success he has met due to his desire and effort, and the generosity of others. His neighbors have come to his assistance and have been collecting cans for the past six months, which has accelerated the numbers. A fireman heard the story and donates cans.
“The abundance flows,” Lieberman said. “Life is always full of secrets and surprises.”
Lieberman attributes all his good luck to a gentleman he didn’t know well, who ordered some deli meat from him at the Roche Bros. deli department a month ago. They started talking, and before Bob knew it, he gave him a plastic bracelet from his wrist, which looks like rosary beads and a cross. He insisted Lieberman put it on. Since that day, Bob has had more spiritual uplifting and more positive luck around him on his MAKE-A-WISH endeavor. He does not take it off, unless he has to. Lieberman said he is speechless over this incident, has never seen the man again, but wishes he did.
“If this article inspires anyone, MAKE-A-WISH would love to accept any donations, of any denomination, from people who would like to return their cans to the Walpole Redemption Center, like me,” Lieberman said.
To donate directly, MAKE-A-Wish of MA and RI is located at 133 Federal St., 2nd Floor, Boston MA 02110, or visit their website: https://wish.org/massri.
If you are in Walpole and want to make a donation, visit the Walpole Redemption Center, 747 Main St. Tell them Bob and MAKE-A-WISH sent you!