Veteran earns cash to donate to St. Jude Children’s Hospital by cleaning up East Texas roads

Veteran earns cash to donate to St. Jude Children’s Hospital by cleaning up East Texas roads
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 6:37 PM CST
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ALBA, Texas (KLTV) - A recent arrival to East Texas remains on a mission to help a children’s research hospital, by cleaning up Texas roadways.

A Montana transplant has taken it upon himself to promote Don’t Mess With Texas, in his own way, by bagging trash and getting donations for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

On any given day you can see Montana native Bob Sistok doing the often exhausting job of cleaning up roadways near his current home of Alba.

“I’m just one guy and I’ve already cleared about 28 miles of highway ditch. I can only do so much,” he says.

Sistok’s inspiration for this is something that just keeps happening over and over again: people throwing out trash along the roadways.

“The only thing I found that wasn’t beautiful about Texas was the trash on the highways.” he says.

He’s raising money to donate to St. Jude by getting donations for every bag of trash he picks up along East Texas roadways. And his efforts have been noticed by TxDOT and Don’t Mess With Texas.

“Texas is known for its beauty. 90-percent of litter in Texas is picked up by contract workers. Different groups, organizations individuals can do it. Adopt a stretch of highway. That’s something you can do to keep Texas beautiful,” says Jeff Williford of the Texas Department of Transportation.

Sistok, a Marine Corps veteran, has now raised over $10,000 in donations for St. Jude.

“Getting cancer as an adult is hard enough; when the little ones get it, it makes it all different,” he says.

TxDOT would like to see more people involved.

“One way to do it that we encourage people to do is to adopt a highway themselves; that program started here in Tyler,” Williford says.

TxDOT reminds the public that if you get caught littering, it could cost you up $2,000 in fines.