Gulfport child donates pop-tops to Ronald McDonald House

After nearly six years, a Gulfport child returned to a place that helped his family in a time of need so he could return the favor.

After collecting pop-tops for three years, ten-year-old Zander Spears and his family made a trip to Mobile to donate them to the Ronald McDonald House that helped them six years ago.

In 2016, Zander was transferred to Children’s Hospital in Mobile after suffering injuries at the hands of his biological father.

During his time at the hospital, the Ronald McDonald House next door hosted his mother and grandmother until he was able to leave. Zander’s mother, Emily Spears, said, “It’s a little different. It was a tough time for us, and I’m happy that they provided a place for my family.”

In 2019, Zander decided that he wanted to thank the house by collecting pop-tops for its pop-top program. He, along with friends, family, and local businesses, ended up collecting nearly 250 pounds of pop-tops to donate. Zander said, “I just don’t want people to go through what I went through and I just want them to be with their family.”

Once the team at the house gets all of the tops together, they will bring them to a local recycling center in exchange for money that will be donated back to the house and its operations. Ronald McDonald House Assistant Director Liz Calci said, “We’re a peaceful place for them to be, and it obviously touched them to be able to give back and that’s what we love.”

Zander is a big fan of both Ole Miss and the Saints. He says with the help of his family and friends, he will continue to collect tops for the house in the future and continue to spread awareness for child abuse around the world.

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