Ken McBride (right) was presented with a lifetime fundraising award from LAPS a few years ago

Langley coin ‘collector’ aims to raise $250,000 for LAPS

Ken McBride describes his volunteer efforts as his ‘calling in life.’

If Ken McBride sported a Santa’s hat and white beard, Jayne Nelson would believe the Langley man to be St. Nicholas.

Even without the red and white clothing and facial hair, part of her suspects McBride has some special magical powers.

The Walnut Grove resident definitely helped make her Christmas wishes come true, when he presented Nelson with his latest instalment of loose coin.

“Ken is an incredible example of how one person truly can make a difference,” said Nelson, the acting executive director of the Langley Animal Protection Society.

“Ken has helped so many animals and we are incredibly grateful to him for his dedication and kindness,” Nelson said, praising his dedication to the animals and the shelter.

McBride, a 72-year-old retired warehouse worker, started volunteering for LAPS a dozen years ago, walking shelter dogs a few days a week to ward off depression.

Six months in, he wanted to do more to help the animal shelter and pitched an idea to then executive director Sean Baker.

He suggested distributing collection cans to businesses around town that would encourage people to part with their spare change for the sake of the animals.

“I must admit that my initial reaction was not entirely positive,” Baker previously told the Langley Advance.

“I had been approached by others in the past with great ideas, but that was all they were willing to contribute. They had the ideas and wanted me to do the work. But my mood quickly changed when [McBride] said the magical words that any manager loves to hear ‘I will do all the work’,” Baker added.

McBride offered to organize the cans and “pound the pavement” to promote the cause.

“So, with nothing to lose, I agreed to his idea, shook his hand, and wished him the best of luck. And, as he left my office, I did not expect to see him again,” Baker explained.

One month later, he was back in the LAPS office with $500.

“I didn’t know what to say,” Baker said.

Since that first month, the dollar value gradually increased.

In recent years, he would show up with eight crisp $100 bills per month.

This year, he’s been presenting Nelson with about $1,450 per month each month, and is credited with raising more than $102,000 since conceiving of this idea.

“We are very grateful to the community for donating to the boxes,” Nelson said, “and to Ken for creating and managing the program… $100,000 is a lot of coin!”

McBride said monitoring and collecting coin from 40 donation boxes, and rolling of the coins takes about 24 hours a week – equivalent to a part-time job for the volunteer.

In the early days, he collected about $200 to $300 a month, and his goal of raising a quarter million dollars for the shelter seemed a little out of reach.

Now, he figures that goal is attainable within the next 10 to 15 years.

“I’m prepared for it,” he said, saying it’s the shelter staff, the volunteers, and all the work the LAPS team does to care for local animals that makes his efforts so successful.

“I believe this is my calling in life. I believe I was meant to do this,” he added, grateful the community for donating.

“There are an awful lot of animal lovers in this world,” McBride said, also expressing thanks to all the grocery stores and businesses that let him place donation cans in their shops.

“Ken is an amazing man. He is a thoughtful and kind,” said Nelson, who noted that two years ago McBride was given LAPS’ Lifetime Fundraiser Award for all that he efforts.

“It is hard to imagine the impact that dropping a few coins into the coin box at your local grocery store would have on an organization like LAPS. This kind of money has a huge impact on LAPS’s ability to provide much needed medical care and special programs to the more than 1,400 animals that come to us for help each year,” Nelson said.

“I am humbled by how generous people are with their time, talent and resources! It shows that no matter how small the amount you give, when a lot of people give even a little… combined it can have a huge impact. In this case a huge impact on helping LAPS provide second chances to lost, forgotten, and unwanted animals in Langley.”

She described McBride as “an incredible example of how one person truly can make a difference.  Ken has helped so many animals and we are incredibly grateful to him for his dedication and kindness.”

Just Posted

ELECTION 18: Langley Township, you chose Jack Froese for mayor

Township voters went with a familiar face, handing incumbent a third term as mayor

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Who won and who didn’t in the Lower Mainland votes

A look at the region’s mayoral races, starting with Doug McCallum coming back to win in Surrey

Celebrating Halloween in the horse capital of B.C.

Langley riders event features riders and horses in costumes

Voting set to start in B.C. proportional representation referendum

Two-part ballots now being mailed to all registered voters

Harry and Meghan travel in different style on Australia tour

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day seven of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

The online auction features 22 items from Hawking, including his doctoral thesis on the origins of the universe, with the sale scheduled for 31 October and 8 November.

In Khashoggi case: Saudi calls, ‘body double’ after killing

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called the son of Jamal Khashoggi, the kingdom announced early Monday, to express condolences for the death of the journalist killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul by officials that allegedly included a member of the royal’s entourage.

Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur waives right to preliminary hearing

Bruce McArthur, a 67-year-old self-employed landscaper, has been ordered to stand trial on eight counts of first-degree murder.

N.B. village faces backlash after council raises ‘straight flag’

Chipman Mayor Carson Atkinson says the flag met the village council’s criteria because it “recognizes, accepts and respects the rights of individuals under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

5 to start your day

Surrey’s new mayor has big promises to keep, a crash claims a life of Fraser Valley man

B.C. oncologist changing the face of breast cancer treatment

Dr. Juanita Crook, a Kelowna oncologist, has seen 100 per cent success using brachytherapy to treat breast cancer in some patients.

Canada Post strikes leaves small shops in the lurch as holidays approach: CFIB

Rotating strikes began in Victoria, Edmonton, Halifax and Windsor

Most Read