North Baltimore kids show they care


NORTH BALTIMORE – Worried parents with sick children who stay at the Ronald McDonald House of Northwest
Ohio will continue to have food to eat, thanks to the "collective" efforts of the Powell
Elementary Tab-u-Lators and their friends.
More than one million pop can tabs were delivered to the site which provides housing to family members
who have hospitalized children. The Ronald McDonald House in Toledo provides a respite to parents so
they do not have the daily stress of driving back and forth from their home to a hospital to be with
their sick child. The site sells the pop can tabs to a recycling company and uses the funds to buy food
for its guests.
This is the fourth year for Powell Elementary School to serve as a collection site for the pop tabs.
"Pop" Tab-u-Lator Rick Mays, a Powell night custodian, said the first year the school collected
close to half a million of them. In 2008 the children donated 966,400; and this year they met and
exceeded their goal of one million – with a delivery of 1,111,500 tabs.
It took two vans to deliver the 34 cartons carrying all the tabs, which weighed in at 741 pounds. Mays
explained he counted out 1,000 tabs and weighed them, then mathematically figured out one pound is equal
to 1,510 tabs, which he rounds down to 1,500.
"It’s a big day for the kids. They get in the dumpster. It’s a great day loading them up," he
said of delivery day in the spring. Photos were taken to be posted at the Ronald McDonald House "to
show we care."
But Mays noted it took "many helpers behind the scenes" for the school to reach its goal,
including Butch Crebs, who is estimated to have provided 70,000 to 80,000 tabs; plus the North Baltimore
Public Library, American Legion Post 539, First Federal Bank of Findlay and Variety Recycling of
Findlay, all of which save tabs for the school.
Mays had special words of appreciation for Variety Recycling since it provided the final push for the
children to exceed their one-million goal. Just two weeks before this year’s collection ended, the total
was at 905,000 tabs. Mays checked with Variety Recycling, and the business had over 100,000 tabs to add
to the cause. One of its employees stayed at the Ronald McDonald House and now has a passion for it,
which is why the business saves its tabs for the school.
"Everybody is getting involved in it," he observed. "We’re hoping for more. I’m going to
try to get two million this year."
Being "hooked" on the program, Mays admitted to seeing a pop tab on the ground, picking it up,
washing it off if needed and adding it to the pile. "I just feel this is something I’m supposed to
do." The father of four and grandfather of seven added, "Who knows?"
He stated, "I just want to help people."
So do the children at Powell – and no amount is too small.
Mays said children see him coming down the hall and will proudly tell him, "’Mr. Mays, I put in two
pop tabs.’"
If people wonder why the Ronald McDonald House doesn’t save the whole pop can, Mays explained a dumpster
of pop tabs weighs a lot more than a dumpster of cans.
A challenge has been issued by the Powell students to area schools like Bowling Green, Elmwood, McComb
and Van Buren for the 2009-2010 school year. He estimates Powell already has 40,000 to 50,000 tabs as a
head start toward the goal of two million.
People with tabs they want to donate can drop them off in a bag or container at Powell School this summer
from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. for Mays to collect, or during regular hours when the school year reopens in
August. Mays stores all the tabs collected in his print shop.
He is also willing to pick up a donation of tabs if he receives a call at (419) 257-3659.
"It’s for the kids," he said. "It’s for the Ronald McDonald House."

No posts to display