OHIO VALLEY — Students at Point Pleasant Primary School (PPPS) in West Virginia, hosted a celebrity on Monday who is probably the most famous redhead since Lucille Ball or Ed Sheeran (depending on your generation).
None other than Ronald McDonald arrived at the school to help kickoff a pop tab collection for the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RHMC), specifically the Ronald McDonald House in Huntington. The idea came from PPPS kindergartner Holdyn Keefer and his family. Holdyn has been fighting leukemia and his family has stayed at the Huntington Ronald McDonald House.
Holdyn and dad Travis were on hand at PPPS to meet Ronald McDonald who held multiple assemblies for all the students, talking about not only the pop tab drive but “leadership.”
While talking to first graders Monday, Ronald spoke about what it took to be a leader, stressing being a good listener, setting an example and taking action. He told students collecting pop tabs was taking action.
“This is awesome,” Travis said when talking about the outpouring of support for the drive, not only at the school but across the area.
Right now, some collection points include Fruth Pharmacy, Paint Plus in Point Pleasant, W.Va., Tuscany Restaurant in Gallipolis, Remo’s Hotdogs in Gallipolis, schools across Mason and Gallia counties and even as faraway as an elementary schools in Beckley, W.Va., and Scioto County. If fact, second graders from Scioto County are already playing a big role in the drive.
At PPPS, a competition is underway to see which classroom can collect the most pop tabs with one of the kindergarten classes getting a huge help from those second graders in Scioto County. The daughter of PPPS kindergarten aide, Peggy Nelson, works at Valley Elementary School, which was collecting pop tabs for Ronald McDonald House Charities as well. When they heard about Holdyn’s story and mission to help, they sent their tabs to PPPS to be a part of its drive.
PPPS Principal Vickie Workman said the school tries to take on projects where students learn about helping others. In the past, they’ve collected for the animal shelter, food pantries and third world countries. This project is close to home with Holdyn being a student.
“Very few people nowadays do think about other people and what they need,” Workman said, saying by getting to kids early, it’s hoped they remember these life lessons about charity and empathy.
“You’re teaching them to give,” Travis agreed, when talking about the impact these projects have on children.
Collecting pop tabs is just one of the many ways that supporters can get involved with RMHC. The House takes the tabs to be recycled and uses the money in a variety of ways.
The deadline to drop off the tabs is May 22 and Ronald McDonald is returning on May 30 to announce the winning classroom of the PPPS competition.
Ronald McDonald also visited the Point Pleasant McDonald’s on Monday to meet the public and kickoff the pop tab drive. Holdyn was to be at that event as well, with mom Sarah.
Beth Sergent is editor at Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.