MAGIC VALLEY — When 89-year-old Bob Hoke, a Buhl resident, needed help paying some of his bills, he decided to start recycling cans.
“We weren’t starving to death, but we weren’t meeting all of our bills either," Hoke said.
This led him to leave handwritten notes on his neighbor's doors asking them to leave out their cans so he could recycle them, but the amount of support he received was more than he expected.
“I’ve been overwhelmed by all the gifts that everybody has brought to me," Hoke said.
Families from across the country started showing their support for Bob, buying him grocery store gift cards and some even paying his utility bills for the next three months. And it all started after Monica McCue, a Twin Falls resident, shared his story on Facebook.
“I was thinking of my own family and you hope people would take care of your family like that and he’s 89 he shouldn’t have to worry about that kind of stuff," McCue said.
Bob says he initially reached out to his neighbors for support not to receive charity but to be able to collect more cans to pay his medical bills.
“Bob has always worked his whole life and even though he’s coming up on 90 he still feels a responsibility, he’s always worked and worked hard," Marilyn Hoke, Bob's wife, said.
He says the most difficult part about this is not being able to thank everyone who has supported him during this time.
“The trouble is I can’t thank everybody because I don't know who all these gifts are coming from," Bob said.
Fighting back tears, Monica says the greatest thing during this process was seeing the community come together.
“It's so great. It makes me teary-eyed because our community is...just great," McCue said.
"I think Idaho is full of great people. The world is full of great people," Bob said.
And as for the cans, Bob says he has no plans on stopping.
“It’s a great relief for me, but I’m still doing the cans," Bob said.
You can visit the Cans for Bob Facebook page for more information on how to offer some support to Bob.