Collecting Pop Tabs (And A Lot Of Them) For Charity

An Omaha man dropped off more than a half million aluminum can pull tabs Friday at the Ronald McDonald House as a way to support the charity.

Robert Lee, with the help of his family, brought in six 35-gallon barrels full of aluminum pull tabs. The total weight was 341 pounds.

Twelve years ago Robert Lee started collecting these after an illness that nearly took his life. About five years ago he took another half million tabs to the Ronald McDonald House.

"They always pulled my mustache anyway," says Lee, "so I just threw them on the ground. Well I got sick. I pick them up now. I don't throw any of them away."

A severe vascular disease cost Robert his leg and confined him to a wheelchair. But that doesn't stop him from doing what he can to help others.

"He's had some hard luck over the years," said Jay Barratt, Robert's son-in-law. "And he goes out of the way to do something really nice for people. I just think that's really awesome."

The Ronald McDonald House recycles pop tabs because they are a purer form of aluminum and bring a higher recycling price.

Robert collects the tabs mostly from friends, family and neighbors.

The Ronald McDonald house uses the recycling proceeds to help provide a home away from home for families with children who are in the hospital.

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