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The brainchild of retired Virginia Cooperative Extension agent in York County Jim Orband has created a new community partnership that benefits both the volunteers and a local nonprofit.
Orband essentially turned Lackey Clinic’s grounds into one of his classrooms for Williams Landscape & Design Inc., providing free educational tips on native plants to employees who in-turn provided some much-needed spring cleanup by pruning and mowing the clinic’s 1-acre property.
“It was such a win-win,” Kim Spencer, director of volunteers at Lackey Clinic in York County, said.
Spencer said Williams has long been a business partner of the clinic by providing in-kind services to help maintain the grounds and keep the clinic shrubs and trees maintained annually. Orband, who also volunteers at the clinic, contacted Williams this year about joining forces.
“They have just done a remarkable job,” Spencer said. “We had to get all our grounds pruned. There’s really an art to doing that.”
Williams has handled everything from snow and tree removal to mulching and pruning at Lackey for free or reduced prices, as well as “anything above and beyond,” Spencer said.
“There’s so many behind-the-scenes volunteers that help this place run,” Spencer said. “Without the volunteers, we just couldn’t open our doors. We couldn’t afford to do everything we do.”
In 2015, the clinic had about 1,600 patients, doing more than $11 million in patient care and receiving more than $710,000 in value of time from volunteers.
The clinic currently accepts 35 to 50 new patients every month for medical, dental, mental health and specialty services.
“It’s really incredible how the community comes around us,” Spencer said.