Jean MacDougall and her dog Charlie collect bottles on their walks to raise money for the Salvation Army.

Jean MacDougall and her dog Charlie collect bottles on their walks to raise money for the Salvation Army.

Walks benefit community

Jean MacDougall, 75, a soldier with the Vernon Salvation Army, raised $1,000 on her walks

Jean Macdougall’s walks with her 10-year-old German shepherd cross, Charlie, over the past five years, will help a Salvation Army program.

MacDougall, 75, a soldier with the Vernon Salvation Army, raised $1,000 on her walks by collecting discarded pop and beer cans and bottles in and around her Vernon neighbourhood.

“The Salvation Army came up with a program called Breaking the Chains, which aims at helping prostitutes have better lives, and when I heard about that, I thought, ‘That’s what I’ll do,’” said MacDougall, who lives near Clarence Fulton Secondary.

She also walks up the well-known Stairway To Heaven off of Okanagan Avenue towards Mission Hill, trying to walk 30 minutes each time. Sometimes she’ll drive Charlie up to the Goose Lake area and go for longer walks.

Charlie howls regularly every morning, which is MacDougall’s sign that it’s time for a walk. She and Charlie go every day if possible.

She began collecting the cans and bottles five years ago.

“Sometimes I only get about two cans a day,” she said. “I’ve made about $200 per year over the past five years, and I finally reached $1,000.”

She was also helped out by her neighbour Esther Knudslien, 80-something, who would bring MacDougall her bottles and cans.