Palmyra resident Mark Welles, donating over 10,000 can tabs to Charles Street School

“I’m a lifetime Eagle Scout so I always enjoy helping others.”

“Palmyra resident Mark Welles and his granddaughter Autumn Ferris have collected over 10,000 can tabs which will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House later this year.” LARRY HENRY JR/The Sun.

For people who want to make a difference in their community, there is a wide range of opportunities from which to choose. From helping at the local soup kitchen to cleaning up garbage around town, there is no limit on the number of opportunities.

Palmyra resident Mark Welles served his community by donating more than 10,000 can tabs to the Charles Street School. What seemed to be a hobby in a way, Welles now sees almost two years of accumulating going to help others.

“Whether they come from my house, a friend’s house or throughout my work day trips, I still make sure to collect,” Welles said. “I said that when my container was filled I would do something with them, and now is the time.”

The Charles Street School, led by third-grade teacher Karen Adams, accepts donations throughout the year, and in the spring it plans a school trip to the Ronald McDonald House in Camden to drop off the donations.

The donations to the house are then taken to a local recycling plant and exchanged for funds. The funds are used to help the families needing to stay at the Ronald McDonald House or needing to visit one of the 11 Family Rooms.

“I used to collect these before and give them to my neighbor who made a trip,” Welles said. “I even had people want to buy them from me at flea markets, but I decided to hang onto them and it worked out.”

Welles, an Eagle Scout back in 1976, always was taught to do positive things in the community and try to make a difference to others. From mowing lawns for friends to cutting trees, he continues to do his good deeds.

“I’m a lifetime Eagle Scout so I always enjoy helping others,” Welles said. “My wife’s mother lived in the Ronald McDonald House for three months, so I understand what people go through when their loved ones are there.”

Welles’ 8-year-old granddaughter, Autumn, remembers taking part in this project last year and continues to help this year. She will receive her grandfather’s container of can tabs to give to her class.

“We have at least five or six filled containers in our class, and this just adds to the giving,” Autumn said. “We’re excited to continue helping the Ronald McDonald House, and make our trip to there at the end of the school year.”

Following his donation to the school, Welles will continue to collect can tabs for hopefully another 10,000 that can go to good use.

“Oh yes,” Welles said. “I’m just going to keep on collecting them and asking my friends to donate. When I go play poker or go to work, I always ask people for their tabs when they are finished with their cans.”

For more information on Welles, or the CSS Can Tab collection visit