GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Just as families rely on the services the Ronald McDonald House provides, the organization relies on the can tab collection program for funding.
One Green Bay man, Mike Pardwell, collected these tabs for 13 years and ended up with well over a million tabs for the Ronald McDonald House but he never knew what to do with them until he met the Wallace family, who was collecting the tabs in the name of their daughter, Quinn.
Pardwell says, “I have no idea why I started or not… Just to see how many I had and it just accumulated and accumulated and people started asking me well what am I going to do with them and I keep telling them I am going to give them to the Ronald McDonald house but I never knew how and I ran into Craig Wallace’s dad [Quinn’s grandfather] up north, handed him a beer and I said ‘Hey can I have the tab off of it’ and he says he saves them too and I donated all of my tabs.”
The Wallace family had no idea someone they knew had collected all those tabs for over a decade but were collecting them independently to support the organization that helped them when they were in Madison, WI for Quinn’s surgery.
“We have a huge support group of family and friends. When we found out that she had down syndrome and had to have heart surgery everybody in our network just rallied around us and I started a Facebook page just to keep everybody up to date with her progress and her surgery’s and we called it Quinn’s flock,’ Ashley Wallace, Quinn’s mother, says.
She continues saying, “We were fortunate enough to be able to stay at the Ronald McDonald house completely free of charge. And I found out they fund that for families with can tabs and so I started saving them and my family… friends started saved them for us and we’ve just been doing it for the last year and a half.”
And when asked what it means to have the support of the Ronald McDonald house and all of those around her Ashley says, “It completely relieves you of any stress or worry that goes along with having to stay away from home, they support you for the room, they supply you with all of your meals, they can give you transportation to the hospital, so they really just make it so easy for families to just worry about their loved one’s and their children that are being cared for at the hospital.”