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Marie Kondo inspires Viva Village volunteers to sweep their homes for materials to donate and recycle.

COURTESY PHOTO: MARYELLEN CONNER - Viva Village volunteers had so much to donate on Martin Luther King Jr. Day that they rented a moving truck just to contain it all.Marie Kondo taught us to find our joy in a life of less. Less stuff, less environmental chaos and less clutter. The pandemic has given us the time to do exactly that.

In honor of the Day of Service for Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, members and volunteers of Viva Village used some of those hours that were freed up by COVID to mine through their garages and tool sheds, excavate in drawers and back closets, and brave untouched bedrooms left behind by offspring who have since launched themselves out of the family home.

COURTESY PHOTO: MARYELLEN CONNER - Volunteers Greg Jones, right, and Nancy McNary, left, load up the trunk during a Marie Kondo-inspired Day of Service in January.And what did they come up with?

Well, a few dozen Villagers felt so much Kondo-style joy after they filled half of a moving truck with clothes, books and household items, plus enough Styrofoam, household hazardous waste and batteries to require eight trips to the recyclers and Habitat for Humanity's ReStore. The Day of Service was a total day of success!

Viva Village is a grassroots, nonprofit, volunteer-driven membership organization serving older adults in Beaverton.

If you'd like to expand your own joy and are interested in learning more about Viva Village, either as a volunteer or member, please visit vivavillage.org or call 503-746-5082.

Maryellen Conner is a caregiver and Viva Village volunteer. She lives in Beaverton.


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