Three metro boys pick up roadside trash, donating money earned to good causes

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A metro family is turning trash into treasure “One Mile at a Time.”

That’s the name of a new initiative created by Ed Holland. It was a way to keep social distancing, but still do good for the community during the pandemic.

Working with trash along country roads is sticky, stinky and sometimes infested with ants, but Holland’s three grandsons are up for the challenge. 

“Just picking up the trash, helping the environment,” 7-year-old Frank said.

Walter and Frank Holland and Jack Porter have spent the last nine weeks with their Grandpa Holland, who they refer to as Coach.

“The smell of victory is garbage,” 10-year-old Walter Holland said. 

For every Tuesday, they take time to collect fast food bags and beer cans, Coach gives each grandkid $6 — $3 of which goes in their savings.

The other three bucks is stashed away for the charity of their choice. 

“I have Children’s Mercy,” Jack said. “I’m hoping to help them just feel better and get better medications and just heal better.”

Frank wants his money to go to kids with cancer, and Walker picked Wayside Waifs in Kansas City.

“So they can like pay for equipment and stuff to handle the dogs and all the animals,” Walter said.

“[They’re] learning to give back and the value of a dollar and cleaning up the environment and doing something nice for other people that aren’t advantaged as we are,” Holland said. “So we came up with the One Mile at a Time initiative.”

Between construction crews and senseless littering, Holland said there’s a lot of trash.

“People, don’t throw trash out of your cars,” Holland said.

But it’s no match for this family. They’ve got empty trash bags ready to fill and full hearts ready to help.

“I gotta tell you, it brings joy to my heart to see these boys,” Holland said, “and they work hard.”

The goal is to bag $100 to donate by the end of the summer. 

Holland said the lessons they’re learning about the value of a dollar, donating and the environment are priceless. 

“Styrofoam — Mother Nature’s worst enemy,” Walter said.

The boys’ school heard about the “One Mile at a Time” initiative. They were given a service award for all their hard work. 

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