Four nonprofits combine forces in Day of Service

Keep Durham Beautiful teams with Partners for Youth and YO:Durham to beautify Threshold Clubhouse
Feb. 01, 2014 @ 05:00 PM

Frequently with service projects, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. During an MLK service project on Jan. 20, Keep Durham Beautiful partnered with two youth programs to beautify the grounds of a fourth non-profit, Threshold Clubhouse, in East Durham.

Keep Durham Beautiful facilitates opportunities for such groups by providing the physical resources needed to beautify spaces. Working together in the community, youth and adults can learn from one another to take responsibility for improving the appearance of their environment. When it is obvious that people care about the community, and where people are actively out on the street building relationships, the result is a safer neighborhood.

Partners for Youth and YO:Durham, a program of Durham Congregations in Action, brought 12 eager volunteers and their mentors to work on the service project. The organizations, which will merge later this year, seek to “partner with the community to provide Durham youth with opportunities to connect, develop, and contribute through mentoring, employment and educational support.”

The partners selected Threshold as a community service location through an opportunity listed by Hands on Triangle. Building on relationships that each organization had developed over the past few years, they chose to return to the grounds of Threshold and try their hands at some serious yard work.

Threshold Clubhouse helps adults in Durham with severe mental illness stay out of the hospital, succeed at work, advance their education and reach their goals. The facility’s grounds and garden needed some TLC to enhance its curb appeal in the community.

Partners for Youth and YO volunteers learned new skills that day. They handled unfamiliar tools and learned to optimize their yard-work techniques, while honing their perseverance and teamwork skills to accomplish an enormous about of work. Now that the students have had the opportunity to learn about beautification, they will be extending their new expertise to develop future projects with Keep Durham Beautiful.

The four organizations working together achieved more than any one of them could have independently.

Tania Dautlick is executive director of Keep Durham Beautiful, a non-profit affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. KDB engages and inspires individuals to take greater responsibility for their community environment. Focus areas include litter prevention, beautification, recycling and waste reduction.  To learn about volunteer opportunities, visit or call 919-354-2729. Be sure to like us at or follow us at