There is a teenager in the Jacksonville community who is maintaining a near perfect GPA, holding down as his sophomore class president, raising money by collecting over one million soda can tabs for the Ronald McDonald House AND ( Oh yes there is more) started the Stephen Dandridge Toy Drive.
The tabs Tyler and other contributors collect are taken to the main recycling center, weighed and the money from the tabs goes to the RMDH for families of the critically ill children to help with transportation, lodging and other needs.
Here at HandsOn Jacksonville we are blown away by Tyler’s tenacity for making a difference. Last year we awarded him with a Youth Works Award at Celebrate!GOOD, our annual volunteer recognition event, for his service to the community. So in September when Nestle ran a contest seeking youth volunteers to honor, we didn’t hesitate to nominate Tyler. We were thrilled to learn that he won the contest! Nestle sent him boxes of toys, footballs and hats that he donated to the Ronald McDonald House. He shared their yummy gift of 75 drumsticks with his classmates.
Since April 2010 Tyler’s Tabs is only gaining speed, already collecting over 250 lbs. of tabs as of last summer. Also, Tyler and two of his classmates were selected by his school to attend a youth leadership camp at the University of Florida in January.
It is inspiring to have Tyler as someone other teens can look to as a leader. Being a leader doesn’t have to mean being an adult. He is someone we know will continue to be a leader for his peers and future generations of volunteers to come.