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EPCHS Student Collects Pop Tabs for Ronald McDonald House

EVERGREEN PARK, IL  — An Evergreen Park Community High School student leader has worked for over a year now collecting pop tabs to help the Ronald McDonald House in nearby Oak Lawn and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.

So far, Ulises Cardenas, an EPCHS senior, has collected about three pounds of pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) program. He took two full garbage-sized bags of them over to the facility across the street from Advocate Christ Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn earlier this month. 

“My goal is to get 1 million,” said Cardenas, vowing to continue his collection efforts throughout his senior year at EPCHS. 

If he does, a leaf with his name on it will grace the wall of the Ronald McDonald House in Oak Lawn, which provides a place for families to call home when their children are hospitalized across the street. 

Ronald McDonald House Charities has partnered with United Scrap Metal on the pop tab project. United Scrap Metal purchases the pop tabs from the Ronald McDonald House at market rate and makes an additional charitable contribution. While the price of aluminum changes regularly, RMHC receives an average of 40-55 cents per pound collected. 

“I love to volunteer,” said Cardenas, an Evergreen Park Mustang basketball player, Student Leadership volunteer and National Honor Society member at EPCHS. “I’ve heard great things about the Ronald McDonald House and what they do for the community. Plus, it’s close to home.” 

Cardenas added that the idea to collect the pop tabs came from his mother, who “really pushed me to go further” with it.