Hometown Heroes--Pop Tab Committee

Savannah's Ronald McDonald House depends on volunteers and donations to keep going. One group has been helping out by turning scrap metal into cash.

Who would have thought little soda pop tops would be such a big part of the Ronald Macdonald House? It was six years ago when volunteer Ron Brunson just happened to mention the idea of collecting them for cash. That's all it took. They got the go-ahead from the director, and soon a committee of six retired men started contacting schools, churches and businesses all over Chatham County.

"As of a couple of years ago, we've expanded out into over 40 towns and cities in the Coastal Empire, where organizations and schools started bringing in pop tabs," said Ron Brunson, chairman of the pop tab program.

To date, the Ronald McDonald House Pop Tab Committee has recycled over 40 million pop tabs. That equals more than 32,000 pounds of aluminum.

"I love these guys. They are terrific," said Eileen Spencer, executive director of Ronald McDonald House. "Without them, their valuable time, we never would be able to to run our pop tab program or our charity. These guys get together, they come weekly and organize the pop tabs that have been brought in and then they take their own time and haul the pop tabs."

Using their own gasoline, they haul the pop tabs all the way to Charleston, where scrap aluminum brings a better price.

"They form a camaraderie here that's just hard to understand," said Brunson. "It's like a big family when they come here and I enjoy being a part of that."

The pop tab program has brought in more than $16,000 for the house that love built. And that's why the members of the Pop Tab Committee are this week's Hometown Heroes.

If you'd like to nominate a Hometown Hero, you can drop us a line at the station: PO Box 8086, Savannah, GA 31412, or email  rwallace@wtoc.com.

Reported by: Ron Wallace, rwallace@wtoc.com