Dolores Elementary School students swept the Western Slope in their pop tab collection supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Colorado.
The pop tabs collected for the “Mountain of Love” program are traded for cash to support the nonprofit, which supports families of children facing serious illness. This year’s elementary crew collected 420 pounds of tabs, shooting past their previous record of 245 pounds and securing the spot of highest donor on the Western Slope, according to Michelle Chaffee, who leads the local drive.
The tabs on soda pop cans are more valuable than the rest of the cans themselves, according to the Ronald McDonald House website. While the body of the can is a mixture of aluminum and other alloys, the tabs are high-quality, pure aluminum – garnering more funds for the charity and allowing people to donate the rest of the cans to other causes.
Each pound is equivalent to about 1,267 tabs and generates between 25 and 30 cents for the charity. The drive earns about $3,000 annually for the group.
Parent Michelle Chaffee started the Dolores Elementary collection drive six years ago, when her daughters were in first and third grades.
“Our donations have helped numerous families as well as some of our own over the years,” she said.
Students begin collecting when school starts in the fall, although Chaffee encourages them to also collect over the summer.
She hopes to get middle and high school students involved as well in the future.