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Homeless Calgarians raise money for families of sick children

CALGARY- While they themselves have very little, some homeless Calgarians are providing a local charity with a generous gift.

On Tuesday, several clients of the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre (DI) provided the Ronald McDonald House of Southern Alberta with a cheque for $1100. The men earned the money by picking up bottles and exchanging them for cash at recycling depots.

The men behind the donation say the amount is the equivalent of a year’s worth of their bottle earnings but say the act of giving is especially important to them.

“The people at the Drop-In, they have so little,” said Larry Lintick, a client of the DI. “But they realize… what it is to get something.”

The Ronald McDonald House will use the money to help pay for providing families of sick children with a place to stay while their children are being treated in Calgary hospitals.

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“When we first got the word that the Drop-In Centre was making a donation to the house… I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place,” said Claire Griffin with the Ronald McDonald House. “For these gentlemen, who are down on their luck, to help other people who in a  way are down on their luck… is just out of this world.”

Gary Croteau, one of the homeless men behind the donation, says the act may also help people remember those without a home are still have a sense of civic duty.

“Yes we are homeless, yes we have problems,” said Croteau. “But at the same time, we are still people. We have a heart.”

The men’s gift has prompted an anonymous donor to match their contribution to the Ronald McDonald House. The donor is also presenting the DI with a cheque for $1100.