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Mayville, N.D., Caring Club is recycling love

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MAYVILLE, ND — There’s an old saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

These Gems of the Week are doing more than recycling trash--they’re recycling love.

It's something you hear every Thursday in the basement of the Sanford Health Clinic in Mayville.

“A lot of laughing, a lot of giggling,” described Caring Club Founder Marlys Hlavinka.

While these ladies may be a little giddy - they're even more caring.

“I am thankful God has given me the ability and desire to do something that maybe someday it will make someone else's life better,” said Caring Club’s Marion Baker.

That's why they are known as the Caring Club.....

“Ugh we did a terrible job at first but we had so much fun.”

Marlys Hlavinka founded the club back in 1992 when her mother was hospitalized for several weeks.

“We got cards, and we sat there one day, and wondered what we should do with these cards.”

Instead of throwing them out - Marlys decided to recycle them. Not in the recycling box - but by giving the card a new look.

Each week  - about 75 "old" cards are recut - given some TLC - and a new message is put inside.

“A lot of fun and all the different colors put together and they are fun to read,” said Zona Peterson.

They are then stamped---once they have approval from Marlys, of course.

But for the patients, the cards are more than just nice to read....

“First thing we ever bought was a fish tank.”

Sold at 75 cents each, they've provided the hospital with more than $10,000 in updgrades.

“The biggest thing we ever bought was a bathtub.”

“It's been a lifesaver for us in so many situations,” said Doris Vigen, of Sanford Health.

But now the hospital may need its own life line. At 84 Marlys thinks she may be ready to throw in the towel-- and wonders how much longer the concept of card giving will be around....

“Not extinct, but fewer and fewer that are sold. The younger generation that is coming up now so I think we are going to have to realize that eventually.”

But what will always be around - the love and care of this group.

Marlys was was awarded AARP's highest volunteer award for community service last year.

The cards are sold at the hospital, college and other locations around Mayville.

The group has also started making and selling other items at the store inside the hospital.

 
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