West Bay Rotary Continues to Support One Less Worry
West Bay Rotary’s support of One Less Worry started in May 2017 when Sharon Hobson, One Less Worry (OLW) founder and director spoke at a weekly West Bay Rotary meeting. She only had about ten minutes on the agenda, but she made the most of that time. She told the club about collecting and distributing toilet paper to help those in need. Perhaps the most meaningful thing that she told the club was that people in need cannot purchase toilet paper, tampons, or pads with food stamps. .
West Bay Rotarians Deborah and Ray Fink were so moved by Sharon’s story that Deborah sent an email to members of the club later that morning. She asked for a call to action – please bring toilet paper donations to the next meeting. The following week, the club filled Ray’s truck with 683 rolls of toilet paper. That toilet paper was delivered and it was just the beginning.
Members of West Bay soon found out that One Less Worry distributes more than just toilet paper. One Less Worry provides personal care necessities and grooming products to those in need. In the three years since One Less Worry was founded, they have grown from simply providing pads & tampons to clients of AIO Food Pantry & Emergency Assistance to providing pads, tampons, toilet paper and essential grooming products to 20 locations. OLW provided more than 70,000 tampons and pads in 2018.
West Bay Rotarians continued to support OLW by participating in packing parties where tampons and pads are packed in small bags for distribution. In addition to its club members donating toilet paper, tampons, pads, and grooming products, West Bay Rotary also presented the nonprofit with money from their weekly “buckets on the table” donations from members and awarded donations to One Less Worry through their charitable foundation.
Through their work with One Less Worry, it became clear to several Rotarians that the nonprofit was outgrowing its headquarters at Hobson’s home. Sharon noted that, “We receive over 30% of the items we distribute through in-kind contributions from generous members of our community. At first, this took just a corner of our guest bedroom. It quickly grew to consume the bedroom and then stacks of toilet paper appeared in every room in our house.”
Rotarian Deborah Fink wrote a Rotary district grant request to help alleviate the storage problem. The grant was approved to help West Bay Rotary provide a new shed and storage bins for One Less Worry. In addition to West Bay Rotary funds and the district grant, several local businesses helped with the project. Old Hickory Sheds provided a discount on a new shed, Ferraiolo Construction donated free gravel for the shed pad, and Peter Overlock: Earthwork Artist delivered the gravel for free. Deborah Fink said, “This collaboration is just another example of what a great community we live in. There are so many people willing to pitch in and help.”
West Bay Rotarians, along with Sharon and her husband Wayne, prepared the site by removing fencing, cutting down trees, and removing brush. A month later, they finished the site prep and moved the gravel into place. It was an exciting day for both One Less Worry and West Bay Rotary when the shed finally arrived. Sharon said, “This new shed, now known as ‘Shed Your Worries’, consolidates products, allows us to organize them, increases our efficiency, and contributes to my sanity!” Deborah, who is also now a One Less Worry board member, added, “I saw Sharon’s house before and after the shed, and I really am so happy for her to have her home back. I’ve seen the power of Rotary during my four years as a West Bay Rotarian, but this one was very personal for me. I am just so happy to have been a part of this project.”
For more information about One Less Worry, including volunteering, attending a packing party, or making a donation, visit their website at https://www.onelessworry.me. For more information about West Bay Rotary, visit their website at https://www.westbayrotaryofmaine.org.