2020 is in the books and before we shut the door, hammer in the nails, lock fifty or so padlocks and lose all the keys on this extremely unique year, we want to take a minute to reflect on some of the good that came out of the year.
We give you Home ReSource’s Top Ten of 2020…
Sneeze guards and safety superheroes.
Can you believe that a year ago “sneeze guard” and “social distancing” weren’t words we knew? It goes without saying that COVID-19 brought challenges and a new way of life to just about everyone. During the confusing times when COVID first hit, we came together and made a LOT of changes – from sneeze guards and handwashing stations to new policies and procedures that became the gold standard for Covid safety in our community.
Inspired by insults.
Adopting those new safety procedures meant big adjustments for all of us. A few vocal customers let us know they didn’t much care for our new regs — and who would disagree that they’re incredibly inconvenient? But we refused to let the disparagements bring us down! Our inspired insult board gave our staff an outlet to weather those insults, build resiliency and invited everyone to bring a little humor to working through the challenges and adventures of our brave new world.
A new tribe of waste warriors.
Superheroes from across our community joined forces under Leigh Ratterman, hired into the new-to-2020 position of Zero Waste Systems Manager. She’s fearlessly leading the superhero-sized charge of building zero waste infrastructure, reducing construction waste, and increasing reuse. May the force be with Missoula’s new Zero Waste Infrastructure Task Force and all our construction waste reduction teams! We are currently issuing waste-warrior capes to fly into 2021.
The prodigious power of work programs.
Once we had safety protocols for customers and store staff settled, we immediately turned to bringing back possible work and youth programs, providing job-training opportunities for people experiencing barriers to employment. By early summer, we had all our permanent work program participants back and our youth programs in full swing. These folks, young and old, made us feel whole again.
ZWAP-O(nline) and everywhere.
Covid truncated in-person delivery of our award-winning STEM-aligned Zero Waste Ambassadors Program (ZWAP!) but Hilary, our EnergyCorps VISTA member, was undeterred! By early May, she had transformed ZWAP! into ZWAP-O(nline)!, and made it available not only to all of Missoula’s remote-learning fifth graders but to students across the West!
In the first few months of 2020 the number of hours contributed by volunteers rivaled all of 2019’s hours combined! We credit Jackson, our unflappable Americorp VISTA member, for developing long-term protocols that support the critical work of our ever-growing number of volunteers and making it easier to ensure folks could keep contributing even during a global pandemic.
CovidCon? No problem.
Our 16th annual SponCon lost a little spontaneity but none of the fabulous energy or creative reinvention. CovidCon presented us with some challenges, but wow! did our in-person teams create some inspired works of functional art while spectators safely viewed the action via our online streaming and our take-home activity kits flew out the door!
A donor deluge.
Our community (you!) came through when we needed you most! We received a record number of donations and new supporters through Missoula Gives and our annual fundraising auction. Combined, the two campaigns raised more than $160k to help support and grow our community programs in 2021 and beyond!
Staying focused on what matters most.
We re-jigged our massive warehouse and procedures to keep our community as safe as possible, continued to provide and expand the services, materials, and Zero Waste leadership that the community looks to us for, and engaged in trainings to build staff resiliency and dismantle racism – as always, doing what we can to address issues right now and working forward to build a better tomorrow for us all.
Voted Missoula’s “Best Green Business” for the 6th year in a row.
That’s all on you and we are filled to the brim with gratitude that you see us doing what we do best!. We see you, too; we see you supporting and participating in our programs,, we see you donating materials, we see you keep coming through the doors day after day, wandering through the aisles, and discovering all of what reuse can be. We see you standing with us today, tomorrow, and every day leading the way to a vibrant, just, and sustainable community for all.