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Special Olympian donates five-years work to charity

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

ALBANY -- The Ronald McDonald House Charities will be receiving some not-too-heavy metal from an Albany resident.

More than 24 pounds of aluminum tabs from Albany resident Mark Green will be donated to the organization through the Albany Women's Club.

Green, 43, is a Special Olympics Gold Medal Winner and employee of Publix. He has been collecting aluminum tabs for five years to donate to the organization.

Green's father, Don, said Mark learned that the organization accepts aluminum tabs as a donation that Ronald McDonald House Charities then recycle for cash.

The money received from recycling the aluminum tabs goes directly back into funding for the Ronald McDonald House, said Faye Shields, president of the Albany Women's Club.

"They (Ronald McDonald House Charities) use the money to purchase toys and playgrounds for the homes that house the families," she said.

The charity offers children and their families around the world an opportunity for families to live together in a home near the hospital where a child who is ill is receiving treatment.

Don Green said his son, who is diagnosed with Down syndrome, was very excited about the opportunity to contribute to the charity.

"He heard that you could save the tabs for the Ronald McDonald House and just started doing it," Don Green said.

Mark Green has spent five years diligently collecting tabs from soda cans and storing them in gallon buckets. While he saves the tabs, Green also crushes the cans they come from to donate to the Boy Scouts.

Don Green said Mark's collection of aluminum tabs had outgrown his bedroom and was beginning to crowd the family's utility room.

"He's a bit of a pack rat," Don Green joked.

Shields said she was excited when Green's father contacted her about accepting the tabs to deliver to the charity.

"During the year, we are always collecting for the Ronald McDonald House, and we take the tabs up to Atlanta to the house there and drop them off," she said.

However, this year Mark Green's donation will be part of a larger donation that will be delivered at the Women's Club meeting in April, said Shields.

"To get this many at one time is wonderful," she said of Green's donation. "It takes a long time to collect this many."

Lee James, a family friend of the Greens', said he was impressed by Mark's tenacity.

"That's a lot of saving," he said. "Mark is like that, though, very determined."

It is not known how much the aluminum tabs that Green has collected are worth.

"I know it has to be worth quite a bit," said Shields. "It's just really great."