A message from Linda Hays.

“Yesterday, I had the honor of saying a few words at Bottle Bills Memorial service. The people who knew Bill the best- the MV Advancements team- knew they couldn’t get through the process without sobbing, so they asked a few people from the community. For those of you who don’t live locally, Bill proudly went by “Bottle Bill” because he rode his trike around collecting bottles and cans to redeem the deposit. With a constant twinkle in his eye, “I love you honey”s, and his insatiable desire to connect with others, Bill had one of the most meaningful lives of anyone I have ever known. Bill was a McMinnville institution. This post though (much as I loved him) isn’t about Bill. It is about MV Advancements.

MV advancements is a community treasure. If not for the work they do we would not have the opportunity to get to know, learn from, and love truly special (I am not being facetious) people like Bill. I sat there watching all of them in their pink commemorative Bottle Bill shirts crying through the service, all the while tending compassionately to the needs of the grieving clients who accompanied them. After the service, someone told me about the care provider who- in those last minutes-laid down in the hospital bed with Bill and cradled him and told him it was okay to go.

These are extraordinary people. Not a moment of the service was given to highlight the work that they do, but I found myself thinking deeply on the words “care provider”. We speak of people who are “care providers” without really giving full reverence to the importance of those words and what they provide for us as a society. By providing care for those of us unable to care for ourselves, they allow the rest of us to have the richness of having these people in our lives without having to do the heart and back-breaking work. So, a public shout out (daily) is in order for those who care for the developmentally disabled, the elderly, and the mentally unstable. And an extra super big load of love to those who do that work through MV advancements. Thanks for taking such good care of your guys and gals. They are a gift to this community. We are so much better for knowing them, and you make that possible.”