DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Dayton received a major donation of pop tabs to help fund its mission of serving families of sick and injured children.

West Carrollton teacher Carol Knoth and her Harry Russell Elementary students collected 123 pounds, 14 ounces of tabs over the course of the school year.

She made her annual drop off to the Ronald McDonald House to turn those tabs into donations.

“Some of the younger children don’t realize I was a teacher in the building. They thought I was just the pop tab lady,” said Knoth with a laugh.

You could say “pop tab lady” is her title now. Newly retired from teaching, she’s not retiring from pop tabs.

“It’s amazing when we see a truck full of boxes,” says Reba Chenoweth, marketing and communications manager for RMHC of Dayton. “The fact that people are doing this every single day throughout the year, it means so much to us.”

Knoth has been collecting tabs since 2014. It started as a project-based learning math lesson with her fifth graders, then expanding the collection to the entire school. Over the years, it’s added up. She’s collected more than one million tabs.

“It will be recycled, and all of the funds raised from that will go right back into our mission. It’s extra special for RMCH Dayton to have the pull tab program because the pull tab was actually invented here in Dayton,” said Chenoweth.

The metal is turned into money for the Dayton nonprofit, providing families a home away from home at no cost while their child is in the hospital.

“I had several community members after our last story, donate their pop tabs that they’d been saving for years,” said Knoth.

Now retired, Knoth will volunteer once a week at Harry Russell, and during that time she will still collect tabs, continuing her mission so that staff at the Ronald McDonald House can continue theirs.

“Keep those tabs coming. They’re so important to Ronald McDonald House and it’s such an easy way to help your community,” said Knoth.

You can collect tabs in a container at home and then drop them off to the Ronald McDonald House, or once the school year starts you can drop them off at Harry Russell Elementary School in West Carrollton.