STORY | “The Charitable Collector”
Harry Weitkemper will turn 90 in April but he certainly doesn’t sit around feeling sorry for himself. Instead, he spends his free time helping others.
Twice a week, Harry attends a local auction in Columbia looking for items he can fix up and donate to local charities. On the days when he doesn’t attend the auction, he is repairing these items in the basement of his Columbia, Mo. home. “This is my recreation,” he says. “This gives me something to do… I can’t just sit around all day.”
While Harry mainly looks for old wheelchairs, walkers, and sewing machines, he is always keeping an eye out for other items, such as soup bowls, which can also be donated to local charities such as the soup kitchen. “I buy whatever I think I can give to somebody,” he says.
“My body is old, but I think my mind is as active as it was when I was 47 years old,” says Harry. “I enjoy what I do and if I die tonight, I’ve enjoyed it all,” Harry says with a smile.