Drew Hinners isn't ready to "can" his hobby of collecting tabs that will benefit the families of sick children - in fact, he is just getting started.
The first grade student in Sherry Harms' classroom brought in 22 pounds of the tabs to the Alta School last week which should be a challenge for the other students to start, or continue, collecting the tabs. The school provides containers for students to deposit their tabs.
The collected can tabs will be donated to a Ronald McDonald House, a place where the parents of children that are in a nearby hospital can stay at night for reduced or no cost. The closest facility is located in Sioux City. The tabs are recycled and the Ronald McDonald Houses receive the proceeds.
Drew began collecting the tabs during the summer and incorporated the help of his mom and dad, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandpas, grandmas and even three Storm Lake businesses (Smokey's, Sports Rehab and Brewsters).
Drew's mom Sharon said they come from a competitive family so make the saving fun, she gave each of some 10 family members a decorated canning jar to save the tabs. And to make things even more interesting, on three occasions, the tabs were collected from the family members and the jar with the most earned a handcrafted prize! Drew's aunt Laura Turnquist and her family have earned all three prizes - which has made the other family members step up their saving!
The pockets of Drew's pants must be checked each time before putting them in the wash - as he seems to always have a pocketful of the tabs he has found along his travels each day. He takes the collecting very seriously.
Since the tab collection program was established over 10 years ago, more than $4 million has been raised. It should be noted that the tabs are now found on adult beverage cans and some soup cans, cat food cans and others.
"Collecting the tabs doesn't cost anyone anything but it helps so many people," said Sharon. They will continue to collect.