Edward Jones offices now drop-off points for pop tabs for Ronald McDonald House

By Greg Miller

Both Elizabethton Edward Jones offices are now set up as drop-off points for pop tabs for the Southern Appalachian Ronald McDonald House. Tabs may be deposited into the "Pop Tab Houses" at Edward Jones.
   The tabs are used for a perpetual fund-raiser for the Ronald McDonald House. The tabs demand a higher premium than the rest of the can because they are "made out of a higher grade of aluminum," said Leah Tapp, House Manager.
   Proceeds from the project are used primarily to purchase milk, bread, eggs, butter and cheese and other perishable food items to help feed the families who stay at the Ronald McDonald House.
   Churches and organizations also provide food for the House. "Almost every night, somebody brings us a hot meal," Tapp said. "A church, a restaurant, a civic group. Some of them come in and cook it, and some of them bring it in already cooked."
   Last year, 12 million tabs, more than 7,400 pounds, were collected. The House received $3,751 for the effort.
   The program "is as much an awareness program as it is a fund-raiser," Tapp said. "It's something that everybody can do. Everybody drinks Cokes. It keeps them thinking about the House.
   "We're basically trying to make it a home away from home, for the families to get away from the hospital atmosphere, the buzzers, the bells and the doctors...just a place to come and relax. We try to provide everything we can think of that they might possibly need, toiletries, linens, towels and hair dryers, anything they might have forgotten. We do our best to make them feel like it's their home, too," Tapp commented.
   The Southern Appalachian Ronald McDonald House opened in 1996, and the pop tab project started the following year. "We ask for $10 a night donation for families to stay at the Ronald McDonald House, and it costs us about $65 a night, so we use all the fund-raising projects to kind of make up the difference," Tapp said.
   The House has 11 bedrooms. "Most of them sleep four, so we could have up to 40 people in the house at one time," Tapp stated.
   The Southern Appalachian Ronald McDonald House is located at 418 N. State of Franklin Road, Johnson City. The local Edward Jones offices are located at 401 Hudson Drive and 504 E. E Street, Elizabethton.
   For more information, call 975-5437 or e-mail housemanager@naxs.net.