MILWAUKEE — It's billed as Rachel's Remedy Pop Tops for Kids and it's a mission to fill up plastic jugs with aluminum tabs at more than 200 bars and restaurants in Milwaukee.
"I started collecting the tops a while back. I would just collect them on my shift," says Rachel Allen, a bartender at Sabbatic Bar.
Her goal is to recycle the aluminum to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House.
Rachel explains, "It's a simple act and I'm just hoping to help out as many people as I can with it."
Rachel learned years ago how important the Ronald McDonald House is to families with sick kids.
"I have an aunt and uncle that live up in Wisconsin Rapids and my aunt was pregnant with twins. She went into very premature labor. She had come to Froedtert," Rachel says. "My aunt and uncle ended up staying in Milwaukee for close to like three and a half months. Ronald McDonald House helped them out immensely."
Rachel knows the extra support is needed for families and patients dealing with a serious illness.
"I had a carcinoid tumor in my intestines. They found it because I felt like I had the stomach flu for a couple weeks," Rachel says. "They did some labs and found out that it was a carcinoid tumor. They removed 21 centimeters of my small intestine, three inches of my colon and my appendix. I was fortunate enough to not have to go through chemo or radiation. They caught it super early, which is a huge thing."
The compassion of others helped Rachel make it through that tough time.
"It really kind of showed me, even the people that are around me, that I don't talk to every day or anything like that, they reached out and wanted to make sure that I was okay or if I need anything," she says. "You could just feel the positive vibes. I know that sounds silly but it's true. And I think it definitely helped out a lot."
That experience keeps Rachel reaching out to others. Colleagues at the bar and OnMilwaukee started Rachel's Remedy in her honor.
"My friend Molly who works for OnMilwaukee and one of the other coworkers here, Ramsey, decided that it was a really good idea. They wanted to make it a bit bigger project and see what we can do for Ronald McDonald House."
The Ronald McDonald House website says pop-tops from aluminum cans have generated more than $375,000 since the year 2000.
"I really can't wait to see this become a huge wave and if we can get a jug in every bar, you know, a couple bars and get this going. It's going to do great things. The funds raised from pop tabs helps to provide a home away from home for families when they need it most."
You can find more information on collecting pop tabs on the Rachel's Remedy Facebook page below.