When many people pull together for a small act of kindness, it quickly adds up to make a big impact. Such is the case with the Pull Tab Program at the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland. By pulling the tabs from drinks, soup, or animal food, members of the community can donate their collection of tabs to the House to support families in times of need. The House often receives the questions, “How does it work? How can such a tiny thing make any sort of meaningful impact?” When hundreds of people donate, it adds up quickly. In 2018 the community donated 15,175 lbs. of tabs generating $6,525 in recycling revenue. More important than the numbers though is that with each simple act of pulling a tab, someone is taking the time to help families staying at the Ronald McDonald House. With 1 lb. equaling 1,000 tabs, these gestures added up to more than 15 million acts of kindness in 2018 alone.
In 2016 the first Pull Tab Palooza event was held at the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland, welcoming pull tab donors with a day of festivities and giving the House an opportunity to say “thank you.” During that inaugural event Mike, Michele and daughter Morgan Stock of Amherst joined with family and friends to donate more than 2,400 lbs. of pull tabs. It remains the largest single donation of pull tabs in the history of the House.
Morgan was born with Mucolipidosis Type 2, an extremely rare genetic disorder that affects the heart, lungs, eyes and muscular system. She had made it her life’s mission to collect pull tabs to help children staying at the Ronald McDonald House after seeing a pull tab collection container at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital while being treated for pneumonia. To recognize Morgan’s steadfast dedication to helping others, the House created the “Morgan Stock Collect-a-Million Club.” Members of the community can sign up for the club with the goal of donating a million pull tabs (1000 lbs.). Upon reaching the goal, their name or organization name is added to the '“Morgan Stock Collect-a-Million Club” plaque that hangs in the House.
On May 9, just eight days before the 4th annual Pull Tab Palooza, Morgan passed away in her home at the age of 22. Speaking with friends from the Ronald McDonald House just weeks before, Morgan had shared her excitement about coming to the event. Following Morgan’s passing, Mike and Michele contacted the House to let them know they would still be attending, “This is what Morgan would’ve wanted. She loved to help the kids at the Ronald McDonald House,” said Mike. The following week, Michele and Mike, along with many family and friends, donated 689.2 lbs. of pull tabs and $2,900 the family had collected for the House in Morgan’s memory. Since 2016, Morgan’s donations have added up to 4,667 lbs. of pull tabs and $4,863 in total funds. Her efforts have helped cover 243 nights for families to stay at the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland.
This year’s Pull Tab Palooza included special memories of Morgan and her generosity over the years. More than 100 guests attended the event and 3,660 lbs. of pull tabs were collected. Final total: $5,197! Special thanks to the following volunteers for helping make the event possible: SITE Centers, Koinonia Homes, OEC, Kappus, Stark Enterprises, CoverMyMeds, Axemen – Lake Erie Chapter, Super Heroes to Kids in Ohio, Cleveland Ghostbusters, RMH pet therapy partners, and the many individual volunteers who donated their time and talents.
Congratulations to following award winners:
· Top Group Donor: Morgan Stock and Family – 689.2 lbs.
· Top School Donor: Saint Joseph Academy – 354.2 lbs.
· Top Scout Troop Donor: Cub Scouts Pack 105 Den 5 – 262.8 lbs.
· Top Individual Donor: The Ogles – 273.6 lbs.