Save Your Pull-Tabs to Help Kids
Haunting for Shriners has partnered with the Local chapter of Shriners International (the Shrine Club of Southeastern Mass) to help promote this program. Here’s how it works, Shriners International collects tabs to help cover the costs of providing transportation to the network of 22 specialty hospitals that they run which, all of provide treatment to children, with conditions such as burn injuries, spinal cord injuries, cleft lip and cleft palettes, and various orthopedic conditions regardless of a patients financial need.
Why do they collect the tab and not the whole can?
There are several reasons which I would be happy to explain, first it allows others to help without additional cost to them. Second, because it allows people to help while keeping the can, which they can still turn back in to recover the full redemption fee. Third, by recycling the aluminum, the Shriner’s are being environmentally friendly (It requires approximately 15% of the energy to recycle the already refined aluminum rather than mine new aluminum). Most importantly, it also is another way to help kids receive world class-care at the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children.
After the pull-tabs are collected from you, they are sorted to separate the steel tabs and other materials from the aluminum tabs which are not worth as much as “clean” aluminum is large quantities. Sometimes they also find change, nuts and bolts, jewelry, pieces of metal, and trash as well. The remaining pull-tabs are recycled at a local scrap yard once the market value of aluminum reaches an optimal price. the other metal tabs and materials are recycled as well but generally are not worth as much per pound as clean aluminum what the scrap dealer is looking for because they can sell it directly instead of having to sort it or sell it as assorted metals which isn’t worth as much.
How do tabs help kids?
The funds from “scrapping” the aluminum are used to fund free transportation to the nearest Shriners Hospitals for Children from anywhere in the world for a patient and his or her family. Here’s an interesting fact, a one way trip can cost as much as $40,000 to transport a patient as well as their family, and the necessary medical equipment and oversight from a doctor and or nurse.
What about the article on Snopes.com?
We at Haunting for Shriners respect Snopes’ right to express their opinion, and agrees to disagree. Snopes seems to have a few misunderstandings about this program which we would like to address. First, we at Haunting for Shriners, nor do any of the chapters of Shriners International claim that to receive 5¢ for each tab collected or that they have a special value. What we do explain to supporters is that we redeem them as bulk “clean” as aluminum (as opposed to mixed metal which is worth significantly less) to scrap dealers in our communities. Often these scrap dealers will provide us with a rate which is slightly above their normal redemption value because we are doing this to help children. Also, we make no claims that the tabs are pure aluminum, and therefore they are worth more than the can itself, some people may have this idea set in their mind but at this time, we are not able to verify it as true so we do not report this as fact.
In regards, to the idea of collecting the whole cans rather than the tabs, collecting the cans may yield more money over time, but they have to take into account several other factors. First, many of the people that are collecting tabs are doing so are volunteers and may be doing so at their home and may not have room at home for endless bags of bottles and cans, nor do they want the sticky mess that often accompanies collecting bottles and cans and or the creepy crawly unwanted visitors that attracted by the mess. Also, you have to take into account the socio-economic factor of donors whereas, some people may need the bottles and cans to redeem for themselves and therefore do not not donate the bottles and cans. All of us at Haunting for Shriners appreciate all that our fans do to support the Shriners Hospitals for Children, and we realize that this is a way for them to continue to support our mission to help children without causing them a financial burden. As you can see by the information above, collecting the tabs allows more people to participate in the program without causing them or the volunteer collecting an unnecessary burden. Also, not all states have bottle and can recycling programs which means in those states, you would have to still collect the cans and they would be worth their value in aluminum. As for the tabs being worthless and or not being able to raise funds by collecting them, the Shrine Club of Southeastern Mass has collected over 7,000 pounds of tabs and raised approximately $4,500. Also their “parent” organization the Aleppo Shriners has collected over 20,000 pounds of tabs.
How Can I Get Involved?
Start collecting tabs at home, as well as at school, work, church, and other places.
Sometimes, we hear, “I feel bad because I don’t have a lot of tabs because I don’t drink canned beverages.” Our response is for your to collect what you can, you don’t have to go out and buy soda etc. to collect tabs because it wouldn’t make sense to do so exclusively for the tabs. Just do what you can and tell you friends about the program too. Our philosophy is this, if you collect a few tabs, most likely one of your friends will ask why your taking tabs off the tops of cans at your barbecue, (which you may laugh at now but trust me once you start popping tops, it becomes second nature really fast), and you will explain to them why, and in turn they will start to collect and tell their friends, and that along with you sharing this information with your family, friends, coworkers, church, youth groups, civic and fraternal groups.
Before you know it, together we have started a movement of people to get involved in making the world a better place, and more importantly helping children receive world-class medical care at the Shriners Hospitals for Children. All with little pieces of aluminum, which you would probably throw away.
You can drop tabs off at Haunting for Shriners (57 Fort Street, Fairhaven, MA) year-round, or visit www.shriners22.org to find a location near you in Southeastern MA.