NEW BERLIN, Wis. — A 92-year-old woman collected one million pop tabs to donate to the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Ruth Hana has been an independent resident at Regency Senior Communities in New Berlin for over seven years. The self-proclaimed "Can Lady" previously collected one million cans and raised $75,000 for a variety of local charities. It took 30 years.
Her latest mission was to collect tabs to help sick children and their families who stay at the Ronald McDonald House. The money collected after handing in the tabs help pay for families to stay near Children's Hospital.
Hana was an orphan when she was a child. Wendy Meyer, Director of Life Enrichment Department at the Regency, said Hana had a tough upbringing.
"I decided that I didn’t want others to feel like I did. I wanted to help in any way I can," Hana told Meyer. "So here I am...I am still at it but the cans are too heavy now, and I am tired of the mess, so I decided to collect tabs.... I still have the ability to help people. I can walk. I can count. Why would I quit now? Plus, I love to count. I have been counting for years – at my old job, as a mail clerk for Milwaukee County, I counted every letter that passed through my hands. Over 8 million pieces of mail.."
When Hana told Meyer she had collected 250,000 pop tabs, Meyer challenged Hana to get to one million.
Since then, everyone has been helping Hana on her mission. The donations quickly accelerated her collection process.
Hana previously told TMJ4 News she would dive through dumpsters at Miller Park to find tabs.
On Thursday, June 16, Regency Senior Communities honored Hana for reaching her goal of one million pop tabs.
The City of Milwaukee previously honored Hana by proclaiming June 6, 2011, as Ruth Hana Day...and that is just one of 12 days in honor of her.
"It's about what you give, not what you get back," Hana said.