Spring Cleaning at RPC
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Spring Cleaning at RPC

Spring Cleaning at RPC

How’s your Spring going, so far? This week we’ve finally had some weather that actually feels like Spring, and it inspired me to share some photos of our recent Spring cleaning project at the Residential Program Center (RPC) on Columbia Pike. I’ll also let you know how YOU can get involved in helping out our neighbors at RPC. 

We joined our friends from Volunteers of America Chesapeake, and did a quick reorg of their “Clothing Store,” which is in fact a large storage closet filled with generous donations of clothing, shoes, and sundries.

These items are available to RPC clients for them to take and wear to job interviews and other meetings. With time and use, things build up and mix together, so it was time for a sort and shuffle. Our VOA guides asked us to prioritize and highlight the career apparel options with our tidying decisions.


First step was to clear everything out of the closet. I missed a chance to get a really good “before” photo — the closet floor had been almost completely covered with boxes and bags of donations. People are very generous!

Above, you can see Halston, Tina, and Clark from our property, Penrose Square, working as a team to clear out the closet.


All the totes, tubs, boxes and bins were lobbed in the conference room, and the intrepid Mila (from 2200 & Co.) & Judy (our BM Smith Accounting Director) began sorting the collections of items, piece by piece. You can also see Simon Lee above, from VOA Chesapeake, standing in the background to document the project.


Judy & Mila sorted out all the potential career apparel for men and women on the table, and I began to put the good quality items on hangers to go back in the closet. Any donations for children we set aside to take to the local Goodwill, which compensates the shelter for any donations they bring over if they receive something they cannot use.

RPC clients can most assuredly benefit from donations from local citizens, and they will get the most out of good-quality business casual attire, already cleaned and pressed. It’s ideal to donate items still in the plastic and straight from the dry cleaner, not to mention those “new with tags” items that seemed just perfect in a moment of decision, but turned out never to be of good use to you.

l to r: Richard, Clark, Halston, Tina & Chris from Penrose Square

Panoramic finished product, after about 90 minutes of work! Here you can see the Shoes, Men’s clothing, Women’s clothing, and a couple of bins of casual wear to choose from.

(Although they have several great pair of women’s shoes, I noticed they could use some additional options for men’s business shoes.)

After we finished sorting, organizing, and packing up items to be taken to Goodwill, a few of us from the property management team sat down for a conversation with a couple of the RPC case managers. We tried to listen to their concerns about what support their clients most need for getting back into productive, independent life. Housing is a major concern, and navigating the various requirements of most rental arrangements can feel overwhelming at times. We shared our knowledge about apartmentapplication approval process, and they shared with us the obstacles they face when assisting their clients with housing applications.

Our hope is that by facilitating continued conversations in our community, that we will be able to work together to improve life for all our neighbors.

Thank you to VOA Chesapeake for hosting us for this service project, thanks to our BM Smith team members for stepping out to serve, and thanks to you for reading! For more information on how you and your family, friends, or coworkers can get involved at RPC, click here.