IF THERE is one thing I have found to be true over the years, it is this: there is always more to the story. A man’s garage lined with bins full of recycling matter seems to be pure laziness. “Why wouldn’t he periodically bring his recycling bins out to the road or a recycling center?” one might scoff. At first glance, we often assume a narrative that coincides with our own mental framework and lifelong experiences. Who would have thought that a garage, appearing to be disregarded by one man, is actually the command center for an entire community’s humanitarian operation?
A little over two years ago, the Fayetteville Lions Club was looking for another opportunity to serve the community and, in essence, the world. Bernadette Selph, Lion’s Club member and official tail twister, researched and decided collecting pull tabs for the Ronald McDonald House would be an easy but highly effective venture. Collection efforts could be an initiative, reaching beyond the Fayetteville Lions Club members, and include every person in the community with a drink in hand! Talk about maximizing reach!
The metal pull tabs found on soda cans, pet food, and a few food items are made from a particular metal that recycling companies are keen on buying. Once collected, those pull tabs are brought to the Nashville Ronald McDonald House, weighed, and sold to recycling centers. The most recent trip local Lion Chris Ross made to Nashville yielded over 500 pounds of pull tabs. All proceeds paid out by the recycling centers go towards the operating costs of the Ronald McDonald House.
According to their website, the Ronald McDonald House program began in 1974 based on a simple idea: Provide a “home-away-from-home” for families of critically ill children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. The idea was to reduce both stress and financial burden from families, as they travel far beyond the comfort of their own homes to receive medical care for their children. The Nashville house, a 36-bedroom house, opened its doors for the first time in 1991. Since that time, the house has provided hope, comfort, and rest for an average of 1,400 individuals each month.
Due to your simple, seemingly insignificant daily efforts of collecting tiny pieces of metal, dozens of families will be able to stay closer to their hospitalized children without having to sleep in a hospital chair night after night. What a significant gift!
The Fayetteville Lions Club was chartered in 1947 and has been very active in the community ever since. Local clubs like this one make up an international organization of 1.4 million men and women or 46,000 clubs that conduct vision and health screenings, build parks, support eye hospitals, award scholarships, assist youth, and provide help in times of need. The Fayetteville Lions Club meets at 6:15 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month at the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Senior Citizen Center. -GN