Collecting can tabs supports Ronald McDonald House

Published 12:42 pm Monday, July 25, 2016

TALLULAH — A Tallulah boy is using trash to make money for charity.

Tallulah Academy sixth-grader Luke Shivers, 12, has been collecting can tabs every year for the past six years. Each year around May or June he generates revenue by selling the metal tabs and then donating the money to Ronald McDonald House Charities in Memphis.

“We take them to a scrap yard and sell them and mail the money,” Shivers said.

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This year Shivers gathered 247 pounds of can tabs and passed his goal of 225 pounds. Last year his goal was 150 pounds and he collected 197 pounds. Each year he raises that goal and is considering a 300-pound goal for next year, but it is a little too early to say right now.

“I ask a lot of my friends and family to help me collect tabs,” he said, adding businesses help too.

He said after his first of year of collecting, his hard work was showcased in the newspaper and after his second year he was on the television news, which has led to more donations and it continues to grow year after year.

The fundraiser all started because Shivers wanted to give back, and he chose to give to Ronald McDonald when a family friend from church told him about the charity when he was 6 years old.

“I like helping people, and I just decided that this was a great opportunity to help other people,” Shivers said.

Ronald McDonald House in Memphis houses families who have a child in St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in order for them to be closer to their children.

Shiver’s mom Angel said she is hoping to take Luke to Memphis this year to give him a better idea of what his donation is doing for children.

“This year we’re going to take a trip to Memphis and give (the money) to them and let him tour St. Jude’s,” Angel said.

The can tab donation this year equals $72.

“You’d think it should be a whole lot more than that, but it’s not about the money. The lessons that he’s learned, it doesn’t have a dollar amount on it. But the dollars do help the families,” Angel said.

Luke has found at least 17 people who have pledged to match the donation.

“That was the idea to get sponsors to make it a significant amount of money to be able to help out, and that’s gone over really well,” Angel said.

Luke is thankful for the help he has received from the community.