Nick Pyle is a man who believes in giving back. He came up with a way to thank the Trinity Health Foundation for their loving care of his mother: cans4cures. Pyle hopes to collect a million cans and bottles which would amount to a $50,000 donation to the local cancer program.
His daughter Charlie helped with the idea too. "She'd get up in the morning and say are you ready to go look for cans dad?" Pyle said.
Pyle's mother, Sandra, passed away from breast cancer in Nov. 2008.
Pyle and his daughter with one of the Cans4Cures collection boxes.
She had back pain which was growing worse and was not happy with the care she was receiving in New Mexico. Pyle convinced his parents to move to Fort Dodge where his mother's breast cancer was confirmed.
"Her mother and a sister both died from breast cancer despite medical treatments," Pyle said. "The medication they gave her here helped some and the hospital staff were so kind to her." The family cared for Sandra in their home in her final days.
Shortly after that a neighbor also passed away from cancer. "To watch it twice in a row, it was almost unbearable," Pyle said. "It wasn't very hard to figure out what organization I was going to donate to," he said. "Everybody has been affected by cancer by one form or another."
About Nick Pyle
Nick Pyle, 30, and his wife Geri moved to Fort Dodge four years ago from Missouri.
She works for Nestle Purina PetCare.
He has his own business building Web sites called Search, Shop, and Support.
They have a three year old daughter Charlie.
He is an amateur scientist too, working on a design for an engine that would run off trash. Army vehicles in World II ran off wood, he said.
"I've always been into recycling, Pyle said. "If there is a nickel on the ground people would pick it up, but see a can and they step right over it," he said.
Cans4cures had its debut at the Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash last summer. Pyle set out cans4cures barrels for people to toss their redeemable cans and bottles in but people still used the dumpsters. He and a friend went dumpster diving, retrieving the redeemables.
"We couldn't stand to see all those cans being thrown out."
Pyle has a trailer too which he places at a few sites around town. "Our ultimate goal is a collection day once a month for people to set out their cans and bottles." Pyle would then go around and pick them up. He is thinking of the first Saturday of the month and reminds people to place something pink on the bag to identify the donations. He has had temporary drop-off sites around town but would like to find permanent locations.
"I can see Fort Dodge being a pilot town for this," Pyle said. "We have one of the best cancer programs around." Others can start their own Cans4Cures drives as well. Sign up at the cans4cures Web site. Include your name, city, state, and the organization you are supporting. Pyle requests a copy of the check you sent to the organization to prove it went to charity.
In states which don't have a return refund, people can still turn in aluminum cans for recycling at 50 to 60 cents per pound, Pyle said. He would like to see a 5 cent refund on plastic water bottles too.
The Trinity Regional Medical already has cans4cures collection containers set out and Pyle hopes schools and businesses will do the same. If people have cans to pick and are unable to get out, contact Pyle through his e-mail and he will pick them up. The cans and bottles must not be crushed, however.
"Every gift makes a difference in the life of a cancer patient. As a nonprofit organization the TRMC Cancer Center and the impact of its mission are dependent upon the benevolence of groups and individuals who see its value. And Nick has seen that value. The steadfast support will help provide improved quality of life for individuals that are affected by cancer. The donations will help provide assistance with cancer support services, awareness and educational programs, and early detection through cancer screenings. Also, it will help enable gas cards, hotel and meal vouchers, and free wigs, hats, and scarves for patients needing assistance. When we meet the emotional needs, our patients find the strength and courage to transcend the effects of cancer. We are very excited to work with Nick and thank him for his generosity and sensitivity to the needs of cancer patients," said RaeAnn Frey Marner, BSN, RN, OCN, Manager, Trinity Regional Medical Center Cancer Center.
Pyle believes the idea for cans4cures was an inspiration from his mother. Collecting a million cans and bottles apparently will take longer than he thought but that is still his goal Pyle said.