WILLIAMSTOWN - Local elementary children are collecting pop can tabs for recycling money to be donated to the Ronald McDonald House in Columbus.
The kindergarten children at Emerson Elementary School in Parkersburg have collected tabs for the Ronald McDonald Houses in Charleston and Morgantown for about 12 years, but this year the teachers decided to send the money to Columbus.
Ashley Skinner, a former Emerson kindergarten teacher who began teaching at Williamstown Elementary, went home after the first day of school this year to find her 3-month-old daughter, Paisley, having seizures.
Ashley and Thad Skinner’s daughter, Paisley, was taken to the hospital after experiencing an unknown medical problem causing her to have seizures.
The family, including Ashley's husband, Thad, has been spending their nights at the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Columbus to be with their young daughter, who has been in the care of Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus since the first sign of illness.
The tabs collected will be recycled with the money being sent to the charity house in Columbus.
The Ronald McDonald House offers families of children who are suffering from illness lodging while their children are in the hospital.
With 80 guest rooms, the Columbus chapter of the charity is one of the largest in the world. The charity is able to provide families a home-away-from-home while their child is being treated in a nearby hospital.
The Skinner family was able to get the all-clear from their daughter's neurologist to return home several days ago. According to the mother, the doctors said they were "amazed with Paisley's progress."
Donating to the charity is simple; people can drop off money at any area McDonald's in the change dispensers by the cash registers. The Emerson children have a large barrel used to collect the tabs. If people want to drop them off at the school, they will be deposited in the barrel for recycling.
"This may seem like a small token to many," said Lois Meadows, a retired teacher from Emerson Elementary School. "For parents who have been in similar situations they realize that every little thing that can help them save money is very much appreciated.