The first time I heard the name Robert Hampson,was at a Sunday morning church service. Our minister told us of a young boy who lived in the Toronto area who wanted to help children with disabilities by saving pop tabs, cashing them in and getting wheelchairs for the kids who could not afford to buy them. I thought to myself, how much more meaningful it is when a young child has a plan to do something that is going to be a lot of work!
Our minister then proceeded to tell us of Robert's disabilities. At the age of 4, he had surgery for a brain tumor, which left him blind. Of course my next thought was, does this great kid not have enough going on with himself, that he is putting his illness aside, to STILL think of someone else? Wow! What a special child of God this Robert Hampson has to be.
We had a Youth Forum at Loon Bay Camp and Rev. Steph invited Robert to come as a guest speaker for our "Survivor" theme weekend. Robert's story was definitely one of survival! Upon meeting this young boy I immediately had to smile because you see Robert does that to anyone who is so privileged to have met him. I didn't feel pity for him because I looked at Robert as someone who really had so much more to offer and I looked at what he did have!
I saw a boy who wanted to join in and do just what the other kids were doing with the biggest smile always. Robert let the other kids lead him around the obstacle courses we had laid out which showed tremendous courage to rely on someone other than his family. He showed no fear of anything and wanted no special treatment! His laughter and willingness to just join in was truly amazing.
We had boxes of pop tabs there to present to him and I can still see him with this big smile and sifting through the tabs with his hands as if it were gold! I know inside his head he had visions of wheelchairs. Can you imagine a young boy having those kinds of visions? Not MP3's, not X boxes, or gameboys but wheelchairs! Pretty amazing.
This young boy made the kids who were there feel so fortunate for their lives and the things they had. His story of moving on and dealing with his cancer was so inspirational. He has too much to do to be getting depressed over his disabilities. Robert is still battling his illness today and is undergoing some aggressive radiation and chemo treatments. He still jokes about himself and makes it so much easier for people like us who are healthy to talk to him. What would I ever have to complain about when I know this courageous, inspirational, upbeat young man? No one knows how long a life is but Robert Hampson has definitely changed my life since I have known him. Just a young man, and I am truly grateful to have met him.
ROBERT HAMPSON - a young man of great courage. Robert has been a real inspiration, not only to us but to the youth and other adults of our area. He has put his troubles in the background as he continues to care more deeply for others by collecting pop tabs to raise money to buy wheelchairs for those "less fortunate". His positive thinking and determination to do good under difficult circumstances sets a great example and is motivation for us all. Robert quickly gains respect and admiration from everyone his life touches. He is a very special person.
I met Robert in the fall of 2005, when he was invited by our local church to travel from Ontario to Newfoundland to be a guest speaker at a Youth Forum for local teens. Robert was invited to spend the weekend at the forum and speak to the youth on his life experiences. My daughter attended the Youth Forum and both her and I had the privilege of hearing Robert’s speech. Robert stood in front of his captivated audience and read his speech from a braille notebook that he carried with him. I was totally speechless sitting in the audience listening to this young man tell of his experience being blind and still wanting to contribute to society.
As he said in his speech, Robert has dedicated his life to "helping those less fortunate than himself." He collects tabs from aluminum pop cans and takes them to be recycled into wheelchairs for people who are unable to walk and cannot afford a wheelchair. One would think that it would be impossible to accumulate enough pop tabs to purchase a wheelchair but that did not deter this young man. At the time of his visit to Newfoundland, Robert had already recycled enough pop tabs to donate a wheelchair and was well on the way to having enough tabs collected to donate a second wheelchair
As he said in his speech, Robert has dedicated his life to "helping those less fortunate than himself." He collects tabs from aluminum pop cans and takes them to be recycled into wheelchairs for people who are unable to walk and cannot afford a wheelchair. One would think that it would be impossible to accumulate enough pop tabs to purchase a wheelchair but that did not deter this young man. At the time of his visit to Newfoundland, Robert had already recycled enough pop tabs to donate a wheelchair and was well on the way to having enough tabs collected to donate a second wheelchair.
This young man has faced many surgeries and obstacles in his life and is still continuing an uphill battle with his cancer, but he maintains a positive outlook on life and helping other people.
I have such admiration for this young man’s dedication, courage and commitment. Robert truly is a hero in every sense of the word.
I was so inspired by this child when I met him. The little I do know shows such courage it is undescribable. His spirits coupled with his ability to fight hard, is an amazing strength. Where he finds this strength must be deep within a soul that would be so deserving of even further recognition. The humor he expresses in his emails is just heartwarming. I have oodles of pop tabs here at the house and I know that his effort to buy these wheelchairs is a deed worth telling the world about.
Support our effortsThe Robert Hampson Tabs for Kids Fund works to raise funds to purchase accessibility devices for children. We do this in association with the Presidents Choice Childrens Charity. Check out our donation page to see our progress and what we are currently working on!Make donation
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Pop Tab Facts
Why do we only collect the tabs?
What happens to the tabs?