The hobby’s most charity minded card shop is located a Southern Illinois town of just under 7,000 people. Can’s Can doesn’t just “give back” to its community, though. They give everything.
The shop in Benton is non-profit, with every card sold turned over to a fund that buys items for local school classrooms, nursing homes, a meal delivery program, underprivileged kids and just about any other entity in his hometown that needs it.
Owner Greg Poole is a long-time collector who had fond memories of a shop in West Frankfort he used to frequent as a kid but when he has down time from his IT job with the local school district, he’s scouting around for cards to buy and resell in the shop, in his space at a local antique mall and on eBay.
A 501c3 charity, Can’s Can was a local resource well before the store opened, however. It started our raising money through recycling–hence the name. The hobby shop is located inside a building that houses its resource center, a place where goods are stored that will help those who need them. There are school supplies for teachers who sometimes struggle to provide them, backpacks and clothing for kids who need them.
Some of the money is used to create and deliver meals to local shut-ins and there are other events conducted to bring some happiness to local seniors.
“Honestly, this isn’t work at all,” he told Ryan Fagan of The Sporting News. “Sometimes it is, but for the most part, I get to have my hobby, share my hobby with others, but then I also get to help others.”
Poole’s own personal story–abuse and a suicide attempt–was part of the journey, too.
It’s a story that’s well worth a few minutes of your time.