Elora boy collecting pop can tabs to purchase wheelchair for woman in need

An Elora boy is collecting pop can tabs and donating them to charity to help outfit someone with a wheelchair.

Six-year-old Jacob Dippel started collecting tabs after learning about the Pop Tabs for Wheelchairs program put on by the Royal Canadian Legion in Elora.

"When someone told me that you could make a wheelchair out of bottle tabs, then I decided to do it," Jacob said.

The legion gathers and sorts the aluminum tabs, which are converted into cash at the metal recycler. The legion then uses that money to buy wheelchairs for people in need.

"We're up to almost 3,000 wheelchairs and devices that we've assisted with for people in need," said Lynn McClellan with the Royal Canadian Legion branch 229.

So far, Jacob has collected more than 215 litre-sized bottles full of tabs. About two million tabs are needed for one wheelchair.

"He actually wants to achieve the goal of making a wheelchair out of tabs," said Jacob's father, Dylan Dippel.

Dylan posted about his son's efforts on social media. From there, Debbi-Lori Power reached out and told the Dippels she was also collecting tabs because she will soon need a wheelchair.

"I was diagnosed 13 years ago with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia," Power said. "The outcome is basically eventually I won't be able to move around."

"I presented that to my son Jacob and he made the decision then yes, let's help her, let's donate to her and get her a wheelchair," Dylan said.

Earlier this week, Jacob and Power met for the first time when dropped off his initial collection of tabs, a joyful moment for both Power and the Dippels.

"I'm grateful, I'm in shock, I'm speechless," Power said.

"When it's not influenced or helping him along to think of it, and he just on his own is like, 'I want to help,' I mean, as a parent you can't ask for anything more," Dylan said.