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Art By: George Ortiz

Keeping Tabs on Causes We Care About

Posted on : 01/22/2019

L-R: Lisa Fine, Director of Events, Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley; Brittany Moretti, Program Operations Manager, Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley; Samantha Makris; Jeffrey Schrier

One of the most rewarding aspects of our work here at The Arc Westchester is helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities build deep connections with people and organizations in their community. In the case of Samantha Makris, all it took was one art project to spark a new friendship and meaningful work with the Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley.

Samantha Makris first met artist Jeffrey Schrier when he assisted our individuals with creating a jellyfish art project out of plastic bottles, which still hangs in our Hawthorne headquarters. During his visit, Jeffrey spoke about his artwork built out of aluminum can tabs. The two stayed in touch after his visit, and Samantha decided to donate four pounds of tabs to Jeffery to make a piece.

Simultaneously, The Arc Westchester began a partnership with the Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley. One of the House’s most important fundraising efforts is its Pull Tab Collection Program. Pull tabs from aluminum cans are collected by the house and brought to a local recycling center, where they are melted down and exchanged for money. The funds generated from recycling these aluminum gems help offset the House’s expenses.

In addition to bringing the tabs from the House to the recycling center, our team decided that we could help collect tabs as well. Knowing that Samantha had previously collected tabs for Jeffrey, she was named the official Arc Westchester Ambassador for the Ronald McDonald House. Samantha does a great job of collecting tabs for the organization.

“Samantha works 24/7 telling everyone she meets about the tabs. Volunteer sites, schools, family friends…everyone she comes into contact with. She carries flyers with her wherever she goes,” said Teresa Lombardi, who leads the Choices Neighborhood Program.

She even inspired her old friend Jeffrey to participate. Recently, Jeffrey donated a portion of the tabs he is no longer using for his artwork to the Ronald McDonald house as part of Samantha’s efforts. He joined Samantha and Ronald McDonald House staff at our offices just last week to present a $500 check for the tabs donated.

For more information on how you can support Samantha’s efforts on behalf of the Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley, call Teresa Lombardi at 914-495.4654 or email [email protected].

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