Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center & Clinics (SORCC)
Cans for Veterans
“CANS for VETS” was a creative idea that has resulted in reducing trash while at the same time, providing extra funds for Veteran’s programs at VA Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center & Clinics (VA SORCC) in White City, Oregon. Rob Enderlin, Employee Engagement “Sprint” (small improvement projects) Team Leader and founder of the can for Vets program along with his team members, Jessica Majano, John Benge, Rory Parker, Victoria Morberg, and coach Tracy Dekelboum, initiated a program that captured recyclable cans and bottles in specially designed receptacles. The team made 25 of these receptacles from discarded old trash cans. They strategically located them throughout the facility to capture as many cans and bottles as possible. When convenient, volunteers drop these discarded cans and bottles off at the local Bottle Drop facility where they are counted. Revenue received from this endeavor is credited back to the VA SORCC Voluntary Service department. In the last 11 months, the “Cans for Vets” initiative has brought in over $3,000 for various Veteran programs such as items for the Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program and Homeless Programs.
The inception for this idea came from Rob Enderlin’s experience in seeing these types of recyclables being thrown away. Pulling from his childhood of saving cans and bottles for pocket change and knowing that Oregon had recently increased the funding to ten cents, he saw an opportunity to use these funds to purchase items for the Veterans of the VA SORCC.
“The Employee Engagement process at VA SORCC is a great avenue to propose ideas to senior leaders. I am very proud of the “Cans for Vets” idea, and the team had fun trying to figure out how to make it work. The support has been great at the VA SORCC as more and more people are using our receptacles to discard their cans and bottles. In Oregon, every can and bottle are worth 10 cents and those dimes add up.” -Rob Enderlin, creator and team leader.
“This idea had a beautiful simplicity to it from the goal of giving back to our Veteran residents, the repurposing of existing containers to hold these recyclables, to the absolute willingness and joy of those involved in the process to make it happen. This makes good sense and gives us the sweet opportunity to give back.” - Tracy Dekelboum, team coach.
“Rob’s idea is one of many grass roots initiatives which has blossomed because of Executive Leadership support of an Employee Engagement program at VA SORCC. This demonstrates significant positive change that can be sparked at any level of an organization. This idea impresses me as it cost next to nothing and continues to pay out. “-Aaron Maxwell, team champion
This idea was sponsored and championed by Aaron Maxwell, a member of the VA SORCC Employee Engagement Board of Champions.
The employee engagement program at VA SORCC was initiated to empower employees at all levels, especially our front-line employees, to recognize improvement opportunities, implement the right changes and have fun, celebrate, learn, support and share!