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Inmates collect pop tabs for charity

Posted at 10:38 PM, Jun 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-14 23:40:20-04
An unexpected donation to the Ronald McDonald House charities from an unlikely source: inmates at the Nebraska State Prison. 
 
Their gift will help them keep the lights on. Reporter Maya Saenz has the story, you'll see only on 3. 
 
For the past few months, inmates from a self betterment club at the Nebraska State Prison have been going around to each housing unit, collecting pop tabs. They collected over thirty pounds, which will help pay for a nonprofit's electric bill. 
 
"Hello, how are you? Good, how are you? Wow, thank you, that's a ton.We appreciate that"
 
A group of inmates who are at the Nebraska State Penitentary for making *bad* choices - are making a *good* act of kindess. 
 
"They've been going around, collecting these tabs, going around all the housing units at NSP and kind of spreading the word to let people know they're doing this, and it's been a very big hit. It's kind of a fun game for them to see how many they can get."
 
"People were collecting them and they didn't know what to do with them so at some point they learned about MATA and then they were like yeah, okay, we have some and now they start collecting them and that kinda prompted them to start collecting more of them."
 
"We got forty-seven thousand, two hundred and fifty tabs - not too shabby for the first drop off, huh?"
 
The MATA club at the state prison, which is the Mexican Awareness Through Association, a self betterment group for inmates, began collecting pop tabs in January to donate to the Ronald McDonald House of charities, a house that hosts families from out of town who have medical appointments in Omaha.
 
"Okay so now we take them to the recycling center and that money goes towards electricity.">
 
"It's a huge impact offsetting our electric bill, It literally keeps our lights on, which is very important having twenty families in here, making sure they have everything they need." says Hunter Samuels
 
Two of the inmates leading the cause say they wanted to do something to help the community to show there's good in everyone. 
 
"The majority of us incarcerated are going out and we are a part of the community, we want to be a part of the community because we are coming out."
"With this, we know that there is some good in people. And I believe that they can contribute to the community and say, we have a heart."
 
And they're not done yet. The inmates say their goal is a million pop tabs.