Residents Pay it Forward
After visiting an estate sale at Paradise Valley Estates recently, resident Georgia DeBarr had a thought. Once the sale was over, could leftover furniture be put to use by a local community organization that assists individuals, families and veterans in need in Solano County? Rather than wonder, she developed a plan.
Change and New Beginnings is a busy nonprofit based in Fairfield. The group operates four houses for veterans, an emergency shelter called New Beginnings, plus supportive housing programs and rapid rehousing programs. Their service to service members began in 2009 with the Dixon VETS Housing program, which provides transitional housing to veterans experiencing homelessness.
Georgia first learned about Change and New Beginnings through her church and became a supporter after the group established a second veterans home in Dixon. Later, after taking on the board position of Community Outreach on the MOAA/Military Officers Association of America (Solano County) board, she selected the nonprofit to be the recipient of the board’s support. To be of further help, Georgia put out a plea for donations in the newsletter of her own community, Paradise Valley Estates. She asked residents, many of whom are retired military officers, for donations of household and personal supplies such as sheets, towels and clean used clothing. Residents could leave donations on her porch which she would deliver to the nonprofit on their behalf.
That’s when she had the idea for repurposing larger, leftover goods from estate sales in the Life Plan Community. “I mentioned to the ladies who organize the estate sales that if they had any furniture left, I knew an organization that would accept it — and best of all — they had a truck and men to pick up all the items,” she says. For both sides, the arrangement was a win-win.
Georgia’s desire to help also extends further to Opportunity House Thrift Store, which is operated by the Vacaville Solano Services Corporation, a non-profit organization that supports safe housing, drug-free environment, case management and life skills training for all persons needing the opportunity to rise above the life they now lead.
Volunteerism is very popular among residents both on the Paradise Valley Estates campus and out in the community. For Georgia, and many of her neighbors, their will to help others doesn’t end with retirement; it’s a lifetime commitment.