Clovis boy spearheads drive for Ronald McDonald House

08/09/2013 12:00 AM

08/12/2013 8:29 AM

He's 7 years old with nine big boxes filled with soda-can pop tabs.

After challenging his school to collect as much as they could, Lytle Morelock and his classmates gathered a little more than 179 pounds of pop tabs over eight months.

On Thursday, he presented them on behalf of Cole Elementary School in Clovis to the Ronald McDonald House on 49th Street so they can be recycled to support the Adopt-a-Family program that has helped Lytle and his family in the past.

According to Stacey Hodge of the Ronald McDonald House, 1 pound equals about 1,250 pop tabs.

That's about 223,750 pop tabs from Lytle's school alone.

"We've been doing it since we started going to Shriners hospital," said Lytle's adoptive mom, Patti Morelock.

Lytle has been in and out of Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California since he was just over a year old. According to Morelock, her son's medical issues are most likely due to methamphetamine use by his biological mother. After Lytle was born, his right arm was amputated above the elbow. He received his first prosthetic arm from Shriners when he was nearly 17 months old.

In seven years, he has gone through nine prosthetic arms.

During those times, his mother was able to stay for free in the Ronald McDonald House nearby.

"If a child is in the hospital, then it's a place for the family to stay," Morelock said. She said there have been times when the charity has even paid for a hotel when there was no room in the Ronald McDonald House.

Although Lytle has not had to stay in the hospital for almost three years, he and his mother have continued to collect pop tabs.

And there's no sign he's slowing down.

Now, Lytle has challenged his school to beat his donation by 1,000 pounds.

Morelock said she and her son have donated at least 15 times.

According to a local recycler, 1 pound of pop tabs is equal to 7 cents. Lytle's latest collection will generate about $12.57.

But, it doesn't take much to help out a family in need.

"A little adds up," said Hodge. Last year, the Ronald McDonald House of Sacramento raised more than $15,000 through pop tab donations.

Call The Bee's Brittany Torrez, (916) 321-1103. Follow her in Twitter @BrittTorrez.


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