Published on 11/30/11

4-H'ers collect pop tabs, raise $63,000 for Ronald McDonald Houses

By Sharon Dowdy

Tiny aluminum soda pop tabs may seem insignificant, but not to Georgia 4-H’ers. Over the past ten years, the youths have collected enough pop tabs to donate $63,248 to Ronald McDonald Houses Charities in Georgia and Tennessee.

The houses serve as homes-away-from-home for families of hospitalized children at little to no cost.

Georgia 4-H’ers began collecting aluminum soda can tabs in 2002 when the 4-H District Junior Board of Directors voted to collect the tabs as a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House of Central Georgia. Since that time, the fundraiser has supported houses in Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Macon and Savannah, Ga., as well as houses in Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tn.

Since the project’s first year, Georgia 4-H’ers have collected more than 115,000 pounds of pop tabs from soda cans, cat food cans and other containers.

The pop tabs fundraiser is part of the annual Georgia 4-H Junior Conference, an annual event designed in part to teach seventh and eighth grade 4-H’ers generosity through service projects. The conference was held Nov. 5-6 at Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, Ga.

In addition to the pop tab project, the 4-H’ers wrote 111 letters to veterans in Georgia’s veteran hospitals, designed 228 anti-bullying posters for Georgia schools, sewed 45 pillow cases for cancer patients, made 100 journals for residents at a domestic abuse shelter, created 66 terrariums for nursing homes and painted 150 flower pots for shut-ins.

The public can participate in the pop tab collection project by taking tabs to their local University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office. To contact your local office, call 1-800-ASK-UGA1.

Sharon Dowdy is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

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