Photo by Lorie Palmer
Prairie Junior-Senior High School junior Krystin Uhlenkott is saving pull tabs from beverage cans to donate to the Ronald McDonald House. Her goal is one million tabs and she currently has close to 600,000. This collection is part of Uhlenkott’s senior project.
As of Tuesday, September 23, 2014
COTTONWOOD — Junior Krystin Uhlenkott is helping bring awareness to the Ronald McDonald House in a big way.
The Prairie Junior-Senior High School student has been collecting aluminum pop tabs for the past couple of years. The collection is part of her senior project and all tabs go to help the Ronald McDonald House.
“I have an aunt and uncle who had twins who needed to be in the hospital and they were able to stay in the Ronald McDonald House,” she said. “This is when I really became aware of what the house offers.”
Since 1974, Ronald McDonald House Charities has been providing housing to families who have children in the hospital. The houses allow families to stay together and are tailored to meet the needs of each community. Cost is nominal or even free for the families who are already facing extreme financial hardships due to the hospitalization of their children.
The tabs are saved to be weighed and the funds given to the Spokane Ronald McDonald House. More than simply the aluminum, however, the tab-saving is about awareness for the charity.
“I have a goal of one million tabs by the time I am a senior,” Uhlenkott smiled. “I have more than 540,000 right now.”
Although she started out counting the tabs individually, she soon came up with an easier way to count the tiny pieces.
“It was taking forever,” the 16-year-old laughed, “so I counted 2,000 out and put them in a bucket and made a line where they reached up to. That’s how I measure them now.”
Uhlenkott started her senior project a little earlier than most of her fellow students, since she has the lofty million-tab goal. She will also have to write a paper and present the project to the school board her senior year.
“I think the senior project can be a really good idea, especially when you make a plan to give back to the community or an organization,” she said.
Uhlenkott is the daughter of Roy and Denise Uhlenkott of Cottonwood. She enjoys math and science classes and plays volleyball, basketball and participates in track. She is also a member of the Go Green Recycling Club at PJSHS.
To donate tabs drop them off at Gem Design in Grangeville, Prairie Elementary School in Cottonwood, or call Uhlenkott at 962-3847.