During the last four months, a group of nursing students at Tusculum College and students at Tusculum View Elementary School kept having to find larger containers to hold the pop tabs they were collecting to benefit the Ronald McDonald House.
As the fall semester ends for both the college and the city school system, the efforts of the nursing students and Tusculum View students have resulted in the collection of more than 100 pounds of pop tabs, enough to almost fill a 50 gallon drum. The effort has also gathered $57 in donations for Ronald McDonald House.
The effort began as an assignment in a “Theory and Practice of Citizenship” course, and a group of students in the class decided to organize an effort to collect pop tabs for Ronald McDonald House. The group included Allie Hartman, Jama Darnell, Tracy Morris, Bethany Farris, Brooke Sane, Cassi Ricker, Miranda Church and Katrina Holder, all of who are nursing majors.
The students decided to extend the project to last the entire semester, not just to the end of the course. As nursing majors, the students sought a charity that was medically related and they selected the Ronald McDonald House because it serves families of sick, hospitalized children by providing a comfortable place to stay.
After doing research into the charity, the students set to work making posters to promote their effort and setting up collection containers around campus. The students also held a bake sale to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House.
The effort grew again as a teacher at Tusculum View, Rebecca Irwin, and her class became involved in collecting the tabs and encouraging other students to collect tabs. At Tusculum View, the students were also encouraged to become involved by members of the college’s football team, who visited the school in the fall.
Gabby Gracias, a third grader at Tusculum View, was a champion for the effort there, making posters to encourage her fellow students to participate in the collection as well as collecting the tabs herself.
Ronald McDonald House collects pop tabs rather than the collection of aluminum cans because it is more hygienic to store tabs than cans, and collection and storage is easier, according to the non-profit organization’s website. After the tabs are collected, the local Ronald McDonald chapter takes the collection to a recycling center and the funds it receives in return are used for operations of the houses.
The tab collection is to continue in the spring at the college.