Pulling Pop Tabs for a Purpose

By Alli Snyder

Alli posing with all of her pop tabs!
Alli posing with all of her pop tabs!

Five years ago I started collecting pop tabs from my local school district. In the past five years, I’ve been able to donate over 1.5 million pop tabs to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. Ever since I started collecting pop tabs, I knew I could not stop. I fell in love with the fact I could help families in such difficult situations. People ask me when am I going to stop and I normally tell them stop, I have barely started!

RMHC of Central Ohio has helped me get through a lot of things with their outlook on kindness and generosity to others. When I started collecting pop tabs, my family found out that my vision was worse than we thought and I would probably never be able to get a driver’s license; soon after that, I was put on an IEP. During that experience, I learned life is not fair and we have to help others, because if we do not give back to others, why should they give to us?

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with chronic daily migraines; I stayed home from school for over a month I was in so much pain! At that point, I had a mini epiphany:  you cannot just sit around for a magical cure–you have to work for it. I thought of people who have more difficult life circumstances, and I thought about how amazing they are, and how I have to collect pop tabs as a way to show my appreciation to their families, because it’s one thing to be brave because you are going through, but it’s another for when someone close to you is going through it.

To be honest, I feel a responsibility to RMHC. They have been there for all the times I have needed them. I feel as if I should help give back to them in any way I can, and my favorite way to give back is through the Pop Tab Program. I feel like the pop tabs represent me in a way, it is small but still very powerful, like me. My favorite thing about the pop tabs is getting to take them to the Ronald McDonald House because we always take it on the week of my birthday. I feel like I am making the week like Christmas in June, which I have to say feels pretty awesome! This year I will be spending my 14th birthday not only getting, but also giving and I do not think many 14 year olds can say that.

Whenever the new school year comes, I know I will be asked if and when the pop tab collecting will start, and that just makes me feel unbelievably happy. Collecting pop tabs is something my family and I do and I know that it is a little thing that feels so big to me and no one can take it away.