Ironton resident collects cans for charity

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 29, 2005

Edward Woodburn may soon be known as "The Can Man," but likely won't mind if it benefits two local charities.

Woodburn is recycling aluminum cans and donating the money to two causes he feels strongly about.

A 4-foot by 8-foot sign reading, "Please save and bring all aluminum cans here to benefit Habitat for Humanity and Andrew's Buddies," hangs on Woodburn's home at 1810 S. Seventh St.

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"I don't know how many cans I can crush," Woodburn said. "I'm just going to try to do this as long as I can and get enough cans to keep me busy all morning mashing them. Then I'll recycle (the cans) and give the money to the charities."

Woodburn said he will split all the money he gets evenly between the Ashland-Ironton Area Habitat for Humanity and Andrew's Buddies of the Tri-State.

Woodburn had been active in the Ashland-Ironton Area Habitat for Humanity for more than 10 years, even as a member on the board of directors.

Woodburn said he had worked between 40 and 50 hours per week for 11 years. He spent most of his time there working on and fixing roofs until he had an accident. Woodburn said he cannot do that anymore so he has found a new way to spend his time.

"I thought I'd take my time and get these cans," he said.

As for choosing Andrew's Buddies, Woodburn said he had heard about it from his daughter. He said many charities are raising money for cures to various diseases such as spinal muscular atrophy, this is just one of them.

"I think it's fantastic," Jeff Ball, president of the Andrew's Buddies of the Tri-State, said. "The more help we get the better. It helps in two ways; it first helps with awareness and the second way is the money to help with the research."

Woodburn said he got the idea to recycle cans, which Andrew's Buddies already does, from a booklet sent to him from Habitat that listed different ways people can help.

"I can't stand on buildings and I can't do anything for Andrew's Buddies, but I can do this," he said.

Woodburn said people are already bringing him cans in small shopping bags.

"I suggest people get a 30 gallon garbage bag and put them in there then when it's full then bring them to me," he said.

Woodburn will turn 75-years-old at the end of the year and said he will do this for as long as he is able.

"I don't know how many more years I can crush cans but maybe I can find someone to take over," he said.

The Ashland-Ironton Area Habitat for Humanity has built 19 homes in Ashland and 14 in Ironton since he late 80s.

The organization builds one to two homes each year in Ashland and Ironton. For more information visit

Andrew's Buddies is a national charity that raises money to find a cure for spinal muscular atrophy. For more information visit