Community benefits from product redistribution due to Arnold personnel

  • Published
  • By Kali Bradford
  • AEDC Public Affairs

Several local organizations were recipients of a distribution of household cleaning items from Arnold Engineering Development Complex at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn.

        Nine hundred and seventy-two bottles of toilet bowl cleaner along with 504 cans of furniture polish were distributed on Aug. 16 to local organizations in Coffee, Warren, Cannon, and Bedford counties. These items, though no longer able to be used at AEDC due to expiry dates, were able to be put to beneficial use by local organizations.

The idea for the distribution came from AEDC Test Support Division Chief, Lt. Col. Eric Withrow.

“I was raised by Depression-era grandparents and a single mom, so the mindset of utilizing everything and using it to its fullest extent has always been prevalent in my life. Oftentimes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so that is what I had envisioned with this project,” he explained.

Withrow added that the Arnold AFB Junior Force Council, or JFC, lent a hand by helping to find organizations who could benefit from the items.

“A lot of the work was done by our folks here,” he said. “We had to contact the Air Force Civil Engineer Center as well as the vendors who distribute the products to make sure they were ok with us distributing them after the expiration date, as well as Environmental Management that falls under the Civil Engineering side of the house for the Air Force. We had to also get their approval as well.”

        Education and Training Technician and JFC member, Michelle Young explained the JFC’s role in the distribution.

“The JFC’s role was to reach out to folks here on base,” she said. “We have a really wide-spanned base when it comes to the Junior Force Council. So what I was able to do was to send out a mass email asking if there were communities out here that could benefit from products like this. These products will benefit surrounding counties. We had a great turnout for these products and we are thrilled they can be put to use by community members in need.”

Area organizations that were recipients of the donations included Blue Monarch, Come to the Table, 931 Cares, CASA of Cannon County, and Children’s Christian Shepherd’s Home in Rutherford County.

“It’s super rewarding,” Withrow remarked on his feelings about being able to repurpose the products. “I harken back to my grandparents looking at this and saying ‘You did well. You were able to put something to a better use that you can no longer use.’

“Not only that, but we’re ensuring that these items don’t go into a landfill. They can be used by other folks therefore reducing the impact, environmentally as well as helping out our local community.”