MINOOKA — The Minooka Community High School chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) recently welcomed guest speaker and fellow FBLA team member, sophomore Alex Caraynoff, to the club’s Thursday, Jan. 31 meeting.
A young entrepreneur, Caraynoff shared with fellow team members his personal story of his sister Kaitlyn’s serious brain injury, his mom’s stay at a Ronald McDonald House, and his desire to thank and support Ronald McDonald House through self-created charitable opportunities.
Over seven years ago, Caraynoff was inspired to make a difference. He began by collecting and creating personal hygiene care bags with hand crafted, caring thoughts cards for families staying overnight at a Ronald McDonald House.
According to Caraynoff, Ronald McDonald Houses were first established in Philadelphia in 1974, and have spread to thirty countries around the world. These houses allow families to stay for only a few dollars a day while a child is in the hospital receiving treatment. Charitable volunteers support the homes by providing money, supplies and manpower.
In 2010, he became aware of the recyclable profit in collecting soda pop tabs and voraciously began collecting these tabs, recycling them, then donating the entire profit to Ronald McDonald House to help offset the cost for families.
Caraynoff collected an impressive four tons of pop tabs during his Pop Tab Dump Day Drive in 2012. He is fondly known as the “pop tab kid” and thanks his mom, family, friends, various school districts and neighborhood communities for their endless support.
The meeting closed with Caraynoff enthusiastically sharing his personal motto and rules for success as a young entrepreneur.
“A lot of people working together can make something big happen,” he said. “Never be afraid to expand on what you do, get to know people who can help you and your cause, advertise and acquire sponsorship.”
Go to PopTab Pandemonium on Facebook or email Caraynoff at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about Pop Tab Days.