A tale of two cities, but one community

By February 23, 2011

At the core of Yolo Hospice service is the belief that we are neighbors helping neighbors, community helping community. We give and receive that support on a daily basis through dedicated volunteers and generous donors. Last week, Yolo Hospice was involved in a wonderful case of community nonprofit helping a community nonprofit.

Through a contract with the city of Davis, the Davis Youth Softball Association is in charge of caring for the Slide Hill Park baseball diamond. To accomplish this, they painstakingly raised money, purchased and installed what they thought was an approved 40-foot container in the park. The container was to hold softball equipment and a tractor.

Well, everyone was surprised. The neighbors were surprised when the 40-foot container was delivered. DYSA leaders were surprised because they thought they had appropriate city approval. City of Davis parks and recreation personnel were surprised because they didn’t realize the container had been ordered.

After friendly negotiations between the groups, DYSA was authorized to order a 20-foot container, but needed to find a new owner for the 40-footer.

“It was wonderful the way the neighbors, the city and DYSA all came together in a collegial manner to solve this problem,” said Megan Hupe, DYSA president. “Yolo Hospice really helped us out, and I am glad that we were able to meet their needs as well.”

Unbeknownst to DYSA, Lynne Morrin, manager of Yolo Hospice Thrift in Woodland, had been working diligently to get a waiver from the city of Woodland allowing her to place a 40-foot container behind the thrift store. Morrin recently received her waiver and began searching for a container to purchase with a donation from the CB Buddies. Her plan for the container would bring in more funds to help Yolo Hospice continue its services while helping care for the environment.

“Every year, landfills get literally tons of shoes and clothing no longer worth wearing,” Morrin said. “We get them at the thrift too; I sell them for recycling. It is a win-win situation. I needed space to store the recyclables because they’re sold by the ton. The trailer gives us that space.”

The EPA estimates that 12.7 million tons of textiles were generated in 2009, or 5.2 percent of total municipal solid waste. The combination of textiles, rubber and leather make up 8.3 percent of waste. Morrin intends for the thrift store to do its share to lower the amount of textiles going into the landfills.

Morrin told colleagues at Yolo Hospice that she was looking for a container, and her communication paid off. Meet the bridge between Davis and Woodland — Nancy Bodily, manager of volunteer services for Yolo Hospice, a Slide Hill Park neighbor and a contributor to the discussion about the DYSA container.

Bodily spoke to Morrin and put her in touch with Hupe, and the three met in Slide Hill Park to view the container.

“It’s very similar to what we need,” Morrin said. “DYSA had a need to get rid of it and we had a need for a trailer. Megan Hupe and I discussed the needs of both organizations and came to a mutually beneficial agreement.”

Added Bodily, “This kind of serendipity is what a community is all about. Our neighborhood is caring enough to come together in defense of our park’s aesthetic, the all-volunteer DYSA is keeping our park vibrant by bringing these young athletes in, and our city is so willing to listen to our concerns and facilitate a solution.

“Extending that sense of community to support Lynn’s hard work at the thrift store, well, it’s a community solution that brings a big smile to my face.”

Thanks to Allied Container in Woodland, which donated the cost of moving it, the container was in place behind the thrift store in Woodland on Feb. 11. It will soon be painted thanks to Woodland’s Don Easton, owner of Easton Painting Inc. The container also needs some welding work and a ramp built.

Yolo Hospice Thrift is well on its way to ridding our landfills of rags and DYSA has plans to order its new, smaller trailer.

If you have shoes, rags or other recyclables, drop them off at Yolo Hospice Thrift packaged separately from any donation of gently used clothing. For more information about donations or drop-off, call (530) 668-1599 or visit http://www.yolohospice.org/thriftstore.php.

If you can donate some welding work or volunteer to build a ramp, Morrin would welcome your call.

— Mary Odbert is Yolo Hospice’s public relations representative. Her column appears monthly.

Mary Odbert

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