Back in 2012, The Arc of Alameda County partnered with The City of San Leandro to pick up trash at Marina Park at the end of Fairway Drive. It was the beginning of a long relationship. Our clients still go every Monday and Friday to remove all the trash on the grounds, around trees and in between branches of shrubs. According to Debbie Pollart, Public Works Department for The City of San Leandro, the work our clients perform helps more than we realize! That’s because she says her employees are tasked with insane amounts of work – on Mondays especially – having us there and being confident that the job will be done right helps to alleviate some of their stress!
In addition, as Debbie put it, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” By that she means that before 2012, when her own employees had the job of cleaning up the park, she heard complaints about it being “tedious” and that the time could better spent somewhere else.
It’s All In How You Look At It
The attitude toward the task changed immediately when The Arc’s workers arrived on the scene. “Here were these men and women who were so anxious and so excited to get to work because they had this important task of keeping our cities parks clean,” she said. Pollart says Marina Park regulars often stop to compliment the clients and thank them for their work. She says it’s amazing to see the Arc workers’ demeanor when this happens. “You see them stand a little taller and their smile grow wider, she says.” And she remembers a time when one of our clients told her, “We feel so proud and like that we are helping. We feel part of our community”
Which, of course, is The Arc’s main goal – client inclusion! The Arc gets results.
The Arc Clients have done such an amazing job that their duties have now expanded from just The Marina Park and now include the adjacent Marina area and 2 others parks; Manor Grove and Cherry. Ms. Pollart sums it up by noting, “Your clients are hardworking, dedicated, and proud…you can’t ask for anything more!” Nope, we can’t.