101-year-old uses kitchen utensil to raise money - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

101-year-old uses kitchen utensil to raise money

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William Barnett William Barnett
PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) -

Peoria resident William Barnett is 101-years-old and enjoys spending his time making homemade jam with his daughter-in-law, watching Cubs games and splitting copper with a potato peeler for a good cause.

"I'm a 101-years-old now and in spite of that I enjoy staying active, keeping active, in one way or another," Barnett said.
Born and raised in Kenya, Barnett said his love for helping others is hereditary. 
"So much of what I have done in wire work has been through the influence of my dear father and mother, who came from foreign countries," he said.

After stripping the copper he sells it and uses donates the money to Salem4Youth, a residential program focused on helping young boys, and it's only the most recent recipient of his life-long commitment to giving back.

"Before he came to Illinois he lived in California and had a whole recycling program there where he would collect cans. In California they even pay for you for glass, for recycling. He used that to raise money for missions throughout the world," Barnett's son-in-law Steve McNair said.

Family and friends support the cause by bringing him copper to strip.

"The places he's giving the proceeds to are good people that are doing good things with good kids and making them even better. It's a worthwhile for sure," friend Ross Hovind said.

Barnett has visited the Salem4Youth campus many times Barnett said he is thrilled to be a part of changing lives.

"To know that my work right here, getting wires stripped, is going to help those boys get a new life," he said.
 

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