Changing lives can start with flipping a tab on a can.
Gold Hill Elementary staff, students, and their families have banded together to help the children and families at Levine Children’s Hospital by participating in “Flippin Tabs for Levine Kids.” Fourth grade teacher Jacala Richardson started collecting tabs off aluminum cans for Levine with her classes.
“One little act can change someone’s life,” she said. “All it takes is flipping a tab.”
The tabs are sold to a scrap recycler and the money goes to the hospital, said Jennifer Stalford, co-leader of the “Flippin Tab Team.” The team consists of Stalford’s son Nicholas, 10, her daughter Sophia, 9, both Gold Hill Elementary students, and Gold Hill Middle School fifth-grader Kate Leonard, who work with Richardson to collect the tabs from the older kids and the staff at GHMS.
“It’s all about helping those in our community,” Stalford said. “The kids are doing it for the right reasons.”
Nicholas was in Richardson’s fourth grade class last year and was inspired by his teacher’s efforts to help.
At the end of the year, Nicholas gave Richardson two bags full of tabs as an end-of-year gift. The now fifth-grader then spread the word of how saving tabs can help others and soon he had his whole family involved in the effort, Stalford said.
“It was so profound,” she said. Nicholas “was so serious about it.”
Nicholas worked with Richardson and Gold Hill Elementary School Principle Terry Brewer to start the “Flippin Tab Challenge.” All of the children who attend Gold Hill Elementary have been asked to take a “5lb Challenge” and collect five pounds of tabs by the end of the school year.
The team’s goal of 4,000 pounds, or roughly 50,680 tabs, will raise $2,000 for Levine’s Children’s Fund. The money will help expand and sustain the pediatric and newborn programs at the hospital, Stalford said.
Diane Woods, a local businesswoman and the president of the South Carolina Fire & Life Safety Education Association, also collects tabs dropped at the Tega Cay Fire Department.
Stalford said they hope to spread the “Flippin Tab Team” program to all of the Fort Mill School District as well as schools outside the area.
“It’s a true pay-it-forward theme as the students get nothing in return for donating the tabs but a good feeling of helping a child in our community get the services they need,” she said.