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Local youth collecting pop tabs for sister

Pop tabs for Anna - Six-year-old Jude VanVeen, of Fergus has started a campaign to collect pop tabs to raise money to buy his three-year-old sister Anna a wheelchair.   Submitted photo

Local youth collecting pop tabs for sister

by Aryn Strickland

FERGUS - Six-year-old Jude VanVeen has started a campaign to collect pop tabs to raise money to help buy his three-year-old sister Anna a wheelchair.

Jude will need to collect millions of tabs to reach his $2,000 goal.

What started as one boy collecting pop tabs has turned into a campaign stretching across the country to schools in Manitoba and Alberta.

“Once Jude started school I thought I would just throw it out to friends and family and it grew from there,” explained Lorissa VanVeen, Jude and Anna’s mother.

The VanVeens started with a Facebook page to ask for help collecting tabs. Around 10 schools have already joined the campaign.

Lorissa said the campaign has collected 21,000 tabs, or 15 pounds worth, to date.

“We keep [the tabs] in our shed in a big bucket,” said Jude. The bucket is almost full.

As Anna’s big brother, Jude says he is excited to help raise money.

“It makes me feel good,” he said, adding he enjoys his role as big brother.

“I help her sit and hold her; I give her some toys.”

With every pound of tabs worth between 45 and 75 cents, there is still a long way to go to reach $2,000.

For now, Anna has a medical stroller to help her get around. Afflicted with a rare genetic syndrome called Cri du Chat, Anna has bilaterally displaced hips, low vision and deafness. In the next two or three years she will outgrow her stroller and require a wheelchair before she starts school.

Provincial funding will cover some of the cost, but not all of it. Lorissa said the family could also receive additional funding from Easter Seals, a group of charitable organizations that operate nation-wide, but that is years away and not guaranteed.

“We are going to do it until we get the $2,000 covered or we need to buy [a wheelchair]; it’s kind of whatever comes first,” Lorissa said.

Those wishing to donate tabs can email the VanVeens at, call 519-993-6260 or post a message on the Jude’s Tabs for Anna Facebook page to schedule a drop off.


October 12, 2018


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