by Cliff Judy (STERLING, Kan.)
Spend any length of time with 9-year-old Effie Tripp, and you're bound to hear a song or a random phrase...but never a complaint. Her third grade homeroom teacher is quick to tell you she has "the biggest heart of gold," and the girl's actions seem to reflect just that.
At least twice a week, Effie and her father, Doug, walk K-96 Highway near Sterling or other streets in town looking for aluminum cans to recycle. The walk usually covers two miles with Effie checking the ditch while Doug grabs any cans close to the road.
The can search started in January when Effie found out other children couldn't go to church camp last summer because their families couldn't pay for it.
"I heard some kids talking about it at church," says Effie. "They were really sad that they didn't get to go, and I'm like, 'You know what? That's okay because I want to help you.'"