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The RES Student Council presents a can tab donation to Russellville’s Lauren Hellums. The council’s service project this semester was collecting the can tabs to donate to Shriners Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House.

RES students collect can tabs for service project

The Russellville Elementary School student council participates in several service projects throughout the year, and this year students held a special collection that will help many families and children in need.

Every homeroom class at RES reached its goal of collecting one full gallon-sized bag of can tabs to donate to Shriners Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House.

This effort started with Russellville alum Lauren Hellums, whose daughter Sloan was born last year with a limb deficiency: her left arm from the elbow down never fully developed in the womb. Hellums was able to get Sloan an appointment at Shriners Hospital in South Carolina and stayed at the Ronald McDonald House there. Both organizations are nonprofit, and Hellums said when she learned about the opportunity to donate collected can tabs, she decided to give back.

Schools across the county as wells as individuals have joined the effort to meet Hellums’ goal of collecting 100 gallon-sized bags full of can tabs. Through RES’ service project alone, she now has more than 23 bags to donate.

“We’re very thankful,” Hellums said, “especially working for the school system and being an alumni here.”

RES teacher and student council sponsor Melissa Greenhill said all of the homeroom classes had a picture of Sloan and learned about her journey and why the donation was needed.

“It was personal to them,” Greenhill said.

The student council led the project, which started in January. Most of their projects only last a month, Greenhill said.

Once Hellums meets her goal and sends the bags to Shriners and the Ronald McDonald House, those non-profit organizations will recycle them and use that money to help with transportation at Shriners and housing at RMH.