Janesville56.8°

Partners join to streamline school flier distribution

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
February 6, 2008
— Summer camp dates for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

Registration information for youth sports at the YMCA.


Parenting workshops at the Exchange Family Resource Center.


Each month during the school year, fliers containing information about such activities find their way to nearly 6,000 elementary students and their families in the public schools.


It happens through a behind-the-scenes effort that few know about unless they are involved.


The partners are the United Way of North Rock County’s Volunteer Network, Mercy Health System, employees of local companies, Custom Xeographics and the Janesville School District.


“There wouldn’t be the manpower to do the program through the school district without United Way. It’s a great way to work as a team to benefit the children of the School District of Janesville and area not-for-profit organizations,” said Tami Carlson of the school district.


Local nonprofits that offer programming for children get their fliers to the United Way office. Then, Volunteer Network Director Julie Cunningham and Rick Mueller, owner of Custom Xeographics, which prints many of the fliers, deliver them to Mercy’s Occupational Conditioning Center inside Mercy Health Mall.


There, employees of local companies who were hurt on the job spend time rehabilitating their injuries so they can return to work as soon as possible. Many of them also are clients of Mercy’s Transitional Work Program, where they perform light-duty work such as collating the fliers.


Nichole Stapleton, 24, who is an assembly worker at BUB Enterprises in Janesville and suffers from injuries from the repetitive work, spent Monday morning collating fliers for distribution later this month.


“I don’t mind. If I wasn’t here, I wouldn’t be able to get my full paycheck. I’m killing two birds with one stone—helping the school district and getting better,’’ she said.


Tom Douglas, 38, worked across the table from Stapleton. A welder at Lear Seating, the Janesville man was recuperating from surgery after tearing a tendon in his elbow.


“It’s OK, but my therapy comes first. Being here is speeding up my recovery, and I’m rehabbing the proper way rather than doing it at home.”


The group collates at least seven and as many as 14 fliers from various groups monthly. On average, it takes four 10-hour days to collate the 42,000 to 84,000 fliers, said Mary McIntyre, Transitional Work Program coordinator.


“We started a few times without Mercy, but it didn’t work for several reasons. After Mercy approached United Way, Mary perfected the process,” Cunningham said.


Mercy got involved because “we wanted to encompass healing in the broadest sense of helping our community and injured workers,” McIntyre said.


It’s a win across the board for everyone involved, said Tom Den Boer, chief executive officer of the YMCA of Northern Rock County, which has as many as four fliers to be collated and distributed every month.


“I can’t think of a better partnership. It’s a great example of the community taking resources and coming up with an effective system,” he said.



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