On Thursday, November 21st, Mary Dawn Elkington from St. Vincent de Paul spoke to Southtowne Rotary about all of the amazing things they do, along with highlighting the “Sock it To Me” drive currently underway.

As the executive assistant to the Executive Director, Terry McDonald, Mary sees first-hand the wide breadth of services that St. Vinny’s provides. She told us of the changes in direction since Terry took over in the late 1980s. The primary change was becoming a “Waste-Based Business” that is essentially a “super recycler” of almost any kind of donated object. From becoming the world’s largest recycler of mattresses, to ways to turn old glass into gift ideas and reusable kitchen decorations, the new descriptive phrase is, “Creating new life, from “end of life” products, into revenue.”

Appliances, cardboard, furniture, bedding, books, clothing, and countless other “end of use” products end up as new forms of commerce, from fashion items to furniture.

Through these efforts, St. Vinny’s diverts more than 44 million tons of waste from landfills, back into usable products and services.

The Sock It To Me program collects thousands of clean, new socks per year, to hand out to those who stay in the Egan Warming Centers. Mary stated that in many cases, these socks may be the first clean, warm socks, the recipients have owned in more than a year.

We are proud to partner with St. Vinny’s. Sock it To Me is just one of many ways Southtowne Rotary supports this amazing organization!