The power of a soda pop tab

-A A +A
By Kirsten Laskey

A pop tab is more than what it seems. It may look like a small, insignificant piece of metal but it can help make a difference in someone’s life.

For instance, the VFW recently  donated the recycling proceeds to the American Veterans Cancer Fund.

The fund received a hefty donation from Los Alamos High School freshman  Valerie Warthen, who donated 16 bags of pop tabs to VFW Post 8874.

One local VFW member said to get this donation is  “great. We do it every day. A lot of people donate it. It’s good to have things like that.”

It started out as an effort to win an ice cream contest at school. While visiting her aunt and uncle in Ardmore, Okla., two summers ago, Warthen asked them to save soda pop aluminum tabs.

Although the school year was done before Warthen received their donations, her relatives collected more than 62,000 tabs.

Her uncle, Jerry, works at DOT Foods and asked several truck drivers and maintenance personnel to save tabs. Others also got on board.

His boss put out a flyer to all employees and another flyer was posted a bank. Warthen said receiving so many tabs was unexpected.

“It was really surprising,” she said. “I didn’t think I would get that many pop tabs … it was pretty astounding.”

Warthen said the donation was made to the VFW last month. She is unsure how much money was raised.

In recognition of Veterans Day, Warthen encourages her peers to give support to those in the armed services.

It’s something that hits home for Warthen because her grandfather is a veteran.

“They served our country and they (young people) don’t realize what these people go through for us,” Warthen said.

“They (young people) think, ‘oh they went to war,’ but in reality it is so much more than that.”