COLUMN — STEPS says ‘thank you’

Published 6:00 am Friday, July 31, 2020

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Thank you, Prince Edward County’s Board of Supervisors!

Thank you for caring. Thank you for listening. Thank you for your taking your time to weigh all factors before ultimately voting July 14 to return recycling operations to STEPS, your community partner.

Sharon Harrup

The board’s action has assured that we will continue to serve this wonderful community and that six individuals with disabilities, who keep the STEPS recycling operation running smoothly, will continue to have jobs.

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Valued jobs.

Jobs that have changed their lives.

STEPS, faced with the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, temporarily shut down recycling operations in March. Prince Edward County used an alternate recycling vendor during the operational hiatus. We restarted operations June 1, but the county wanted to review the merits of continuing our 21-year relationship.

The county’s decision was understandable. Budgets are tight in these challenging times and taxpayers have a right to be assured that their monies are invested well.

The county’s review shows that the relationship continues to make financial sense.

Plus, it makes sense on a difficult-to-quantify human level, where individuals with disabilities are given an opportunity to work, serve their community and do their part to help preserve it.

I also want to express my personal appreciation to the editors of the area newspapers who understood the weight of the board’s decision and supported the recycling center, and for community members who testified to the value of the community recycling program.

Thank you for getting involved and caring enough to have your voices heard. You are awesome.

Our mission at STEPS is to lead, coordinate, create and deliver quality opportunities to impact self-sufficiency and reduce poverty throughout the region.

The recycling program is an important part of that mission. We pledge to continue to honor this community in providing the best possible services as we strive to move lives forward.

Sharon Harrup is the president and CEO of STEPS Inc. STEPS’ corporate offices are located at 225 Industrial Park Road in Farmville. STEPS’ footprint spans an 11-county area in Virginia. For more information on any program, call (434) 315-5909.