Today we finalized the longest project we have undertaken to date! Back in January, I learned of the tragic passing of a high school friend’s little boy from leukemia. His family had stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Fort Worth while he received treatment at Cook Children’s Hospital. In his honor, Abby and I decided to collect pop tabs to benefit Ronald McDonald House. (Ronald McDonald House collects pop tabs for the pure aluminum, which is recycled for money that is used to support the daily operations of the House.) You can read more background about the project on the original project page here.
Abby made tubs to collect pop tabs at her preschool. Each day for several months, the preschool set the tubs out by each classroom for the children to put in their pop tabs. And each day at the end of the day, Abby helped to put them away. Many, many thanks to the director and staff at the preschool for allowing us to do this project! And many, many thanks to all of the families at The Ark Preschool who helped make this project such a success! It was so fun watching all the little kids bring in pop tabs every morning!
Even though this was our project and all of the pop tabs would ultimately end up at our house, Abby was adamant that she had to take all of the pop tabs we collected at home to the preschool. She wanted her class – the Monkeys (aka the 3-4 year olds) – to collect the most. A couple of classes (including the Monkeys, of course) managed to fill the tubs all the way to the top!
In addition to the preschool, several other friends and family members collected pop tabs to help us. Friends from church, high school and my moms’ club all contributed pop tabs. One friend’s mother even collected pop tabs at her office to add to our project, and Abby’s Gram (Rob’s mom) sent a couple of bags from Nebraska! Look at all the pop tabs we collected!
Now, I’ll grant you, I do drink a lot of Diet Dr Pepper, but I never could have done this on my own! This project is the perfect example of how individual contributions can really add up when you work together.
Today we finally had the opportunity to take the pop tabs to the Ronald McDonald House in Dallas. I had never been there before and really had no idea what to expect. Wow – that place is AMAZING!!!! My mom went along with us, and we were both super impressed with everything they had there. They really do make it a home away from home for all the people who stay there. Here is Abby outside with the huge bag of pop tabs…
The people working there were very appreciative and offered to give us a tour of the place. When we were done, we snapped a quick picture of Abby with Ronald McDonald himself…
Before we left, we asked about the other needs and volunteer opportunities. There are some great opportunities if you are interested in helping this great cause! (And there are Houses all over the country, so you do not need to be in Dallas to do this.) Groups can sign up to come in and make a meal for the residents. There is a huge kitchen with multiple ovens, microwaves, etc. I think getting a group together to make a meal would be great – it’s on my list to try to find a group to do that soon! They also have a “wish list” of items that they could use. Examples of the items on the list include dvds, cleaning supplies and scrapbooking supplies.
After we were done, we felt compelled to go to McDonald’s to support the company that has made such a difference with the Ronald McDonald House. Here is Abby enjoying her ice cream at McD’s. (For the record, I NEVER go to McDonald’s. I can’t remember the last time I ate there. It’s been years. But, today we made a special exception to celebrate this project.)
All in all, this was a wonderful project. Abby loved getting her friends at school involved, and I loved getting to do a project in honor of my friend’s son. Who knows, maybe we’ll keep collecting our pop tabs to take them down again some day.
As an aside, Teaching to Give is now on Facebook! Go “like” our page here and join the giving movement!