Staff at Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School, where Julie is employed as a Special Education teacher, learned of how a school in nearby Saranac Lake had delivered 300 pounds of aluminum pull tabs to the Ronald McDonald House as a fundraiser for the facility.
"It was like, if they can do it, so can we," said Sheila Kapper, the school nurse at ELCS who has been coordinating collection efforts there.
The aluminum tabs can be found on a wide variety of cans; those that contain soda, soup, dog food, beans, tuna, and many other products. Ronald McDonald House collects the tabs from donators and sells them in bulk for funds to aid their operations.
Each pound of aluminum can translate to between 60 cents and $1.30, depending on the market price of aluminum.
"Anybody, no matter what their means are, can be a contributor," said Kapper. "Anybody can do it."
"All you need to do is drop it off here at the school and we'll take care of the rest," she added.
Pull tab collections began in November and soon expanded to Westport Central School where Brad works as athletic director. Administrators at CV-TEC in Mineville and Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES joined the effort, putting the collection well on its way to the 300-pound goal.
In late December, Brad delivered the first donation from the four sites; about 226 pounds of aluminum tabs. Since then, donations have continued to pour in.
"I also have 40 pounds at home," he said, "so we're probably looking at close to 300."
Despite approaching its original goal, the collection effort shows no signs of slowing down.
"We're going to continue to do it for the rest of the school year," said Kapper, emulating similar intentions expressed by the other schools involved.
The pull tabs only go to benefit the Ronald McDonald House, but for the Rascoes, it's one more example of how the community cares about their family.
"It really means a lot to us; just knowing that people are thinking about us," said Julie. "We're just very appreciative of how people have helped to make the best of the situation."