Betty Rhodes, Senior Corner: A promising recycling proposition | betty rhodes

BETTY RHODES

Hello, dear readers.

We recently received some exciting news from local Senator for California’s main legislature, Yvonne Baginski.

“Napa, Solano and Contra Costa counties will benefit from a pilot program to recycle medical equipment and home health supplies if legislation recently introduced by Senator Bill Dodd passes through the California Legislature and is signed into law. by Governor Newsom this year,” Baginski tells us.

The bill, SB 842, sponsored by the California Senior Legislature and initiated by Baginski, was introduced by Senator Dodd to fund a three-year pilot program that would redistribute a network of free supplies across three counties to anyone in need. .

“Access to life-changing medical equipment is often out of reach due to cost and other barriers,” Dodd said. “At the same time, wheelchairs and other goods in good condition will be thrown away after their first use. This bill will redirect these essential items to the people who need them most, ensuring everyone can live with greater independence and a better quality of life. »

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This is so exciting. Two dynamic people working on the same project, helping those in need have the opportunity in Solano and Contra Costa counties that Napa has had, thanks to Yvonne Baginski’s willingness to use her porch in the past .

Many of you here in Napa County have already realized the benefits of recycled and lightly used equipment at Yvonne’s front porch, now located in the nonprofit Share the Care Napa Valley , at 162 S. Coombs St. The new site is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and all donations are directed to those in need.

“The new location has been ‘overwhelmed’ with donations at times, which gives a good indication of how much stuff would normally end up in the landfill,” Baginski said.

“I don’t think people have realized how wasteful there is in home care,” Baginksi said, adding that there were more than 200 packets of adult incontinence supplies of all sizes. , filling shelves from floor to ceiling along one wall, on site. “Bandages, compresses, mattress pads, mattress covers, adult bibs… that’s a lot. Much of it is new, never opened.”

While the Napa site is packed, the need for supplies in Solano and Contra Costa is underestimated because there is no similar recycling site in those communities. In fact, Baginski thinks the Napa site might be the only such “free store” in California.

“If we fill 2,000 square feet of space in Napa, imagine how much is thrown away in major population areas,” she said. “The cost of these supplies is high and seeing such waste is simply unconscionable. Capturing these items and passing them on is a huge effort and should be supported in all communities across the state.

Of course, giving away “free” items also costs money. There is space rent, staff, insurance, and non-profit status that relies entirely on monetary donations raised by grants and individuals. For more than 12 years, the “stuff” was given from the porch of Baginski’s private residence, but complaints from neighbors and further expansion meant a move was inevitable.

Now the reality of running a sustainable operation becomes apparent. That is why the bill is so important. Three-year funding to buy a computer system, buy a truck, hire staff and open stores in other counties is needed, Baginski believes.

“We could have seven hospital beds available in Napa, and someone in Vallejo desperately needs them,” Baginski said. “It’s always been a dilemma of how to get there and whether a program based and funded by Napa can serve other communities. In this legislation, we would be able to share between communities and deliver/pick up where it is. is necessary.”

Although Baginski has officially retired from Share the Care, she still remains active as a volunteer senior senator in the California senior legislature, representing Napa and Solano counties. Her three-year term will end next June and she will also start again for another term.

“Many of the proposals coming out of the senior California legislature affect people of all ages,” she pointed out, adding that SB-842 has no age limit. In fact, many people who collect items do so when younger family members need items not covered by health insurance.

Baginski also introduced a proposal to ban the poisonous herbicide Paraquat, a suspected carcinogen and cause of Parkinson’s disease, in California, but the proposal was not taken up by any state legislators this year (and no was also not passed by the senior California legislature).

Letters of support for SB 842 can be sent directly to Senator Bill Dodd, at his Napa office at 2721 Napa Valley Corporate Drive, Napa, Ca 94558 or by email at: marisol.prieto-valle@sen.ca.gov

Dear readers, I have had the pleasure over the years of working occasionally with Yvonne on seniors and elder issues. She is extremely dedicated, and I admire that and her spirit in carrying out projects that she believes will benefit people who are in desperate need of the services. Please join me and so many others in supporting SB 842 to Senator Bill Dodd, also a proven fighter for the people who need him.

We all need to move forward on this as Bill SB 842 is due to be heard by the Senate committee on March 29.

Thank you my friends. Let’s do this. If you want to chat, please contact me at bettrrhodes93@gmail.com.