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  • 23 Nov 2014

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A helping hand

Neighbors Helping Neighbors returns, this time for two seperate dates


by: TIDINGS FILE PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - The volunteer efforts are geared toward residents over the age of 70, or those with limited mobility.When the city of West Linn announced in the spring that it would be going with more of a “Costco” approach with its upcoming budget, rather than “Nordstrom,” a few programs were already undergoing changes.

One of them was Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a popular annual volunteer effort that began in 2008 as a combined effort between the city and neighborhood associations. As part of its budget cuts, the city eliminated the full-time staff position that was previously in charge of organizing the program.

But the plan was never to let the program fall to the wayside — the city simply could not afford the organizational manpower to coordinate such an effort, and would instead offer some funding and support from a part-time intern position while volunteers handled the bulk of the project.

by: TIDINGS FILE PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Neighbors Helping Neighbors is split into two events this year: a leaf cleanup Dec. 14 and a regular yard cleanup in April.

And so it was that Neighbors Helping Neighbors evolved into two separate events: a leaf cleanup set for Dec. 14 from 8:30 a.m. to noon and full yard cleanups set for April 26.

“It’s a great opportunity to get to know people in the community and help people who are unable to take care of their yard but would like to,” said Cody Towsey, the lead coordinator for Neighbors Helping Neighbors this year.

The yard work in April is primarily geared toward homeowners over the age of 70, or those with limited mobility. December’s leaf cleanup, meanwhile, is a broader effort to spruce up the community for the winter months.

“We’re just trying to get the leaves out so homeowners don’t have to have leaves around all winter,” Towsey said. “But we’ll still continue the spring cleanup.”

Though the event is no longer covered by a full-time West Linn employee, Towsey said city officials have remained connected to the organization of the program.

“The city helps us with the website and background checks and supports us in a variety of ways with publicity,” Towsey said. “They’re still very much involved, and then a group of volunteers gets together to come up with the details.”

The volunteer efforts do not go unappreciated; just ask Jeane Jones. A former West Linn resident who moved to Milwaukie earlier this year, Jones said she was “more than thrilled” with the work done each of the past two years to prune and trim the trees in her yard.”The kids were just great. They did a great job and I’ll miss having them,” Jones said. “It was the kind of thing I couldn’t do all by myself.

“It was a great program and I was really happy I was included in it — it really helped me a lot.”

To volunteer, fill out an application at westlinnoregon.gov/communications/volunteer-application-prior-nhn-volunteers-only. To register for assistance, visit westlinnoregon.gov/neighborhoods/neighbors-helping-neighbors-application-assistance or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Patrick Malee can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 106. Follow him on Twitter, @pmalee_wl