Giving Back Comes Full Circle: Earth Day 2018

Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny in Downtown Vacaville. Tina Chechourka, Volunteer Coordinator in Solano County, pulled up to the Town Square and began to unload her truck. It was the 2nd Anual Downtown Clean-Up Day, and Tina was hurrying to get everything set up in time for her volunteers. As she was struggling to unload equipment, two men walked up and asked if there was anything they could do to help.

That was how Tina was reintroduced to Ed and James — “reintroduced” because this was not the first time she had encountered these two individuals! Both Ed and James are currently homeless and receive support from community organizations. Tina met Ed and James while volunteering through her church, New Hope Christian Fellowship. They were introduced at one of the Nomadic Shelters, which opens during winter and provides safety and warmth for the night.

Because they received help in the past, both Ed and James believe that they should give back to their communities whenever possible.

When they observed Tina carrying overly large bags of soil, they jumped at the chance to help her and see what she was working on. That was how the Downtown Clean-up in Vacaville gained two dedicated and hard-working volunteers. For six hours Ed and James picked up trash, dug holes for new plants, carried gallons of water and pounds of soil, and brightened everyone’s volunteer experience.

Thanks to the work of all of our volunteers, Downtown Vacaville is a cleaner and prettier place this week. If you see Ed or James around, please stop by to say “hi” and thank them for the work they did. If you are interested in joining a Day of Service or other volunteer project in Solano County, contact Tina Chechourka at or visit to find out what nonprofits in your community are currently working on.

Story by

Blair Kearney,
AmeriCorps Fellow