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Terry McDonald

In its 51-year history, the St Vincent De Paul Society of Lane County has had but two executive directors. The first was H C "Mac" McDonald, who took on the job, as a volunteer at first, in 1953. "I started in '65," recalls Terry McDonald. "I had a part-time job fixing small appliances." As a recent UO grad in 1971, he filled in as director while his parents took a round-the-world vacation. Afterwards, McDonald stayed on at the his father's request. He became director in 1984, when Mac passed on. Since then, the local St Vinnies has grown from a few thrift stores into a multifaceted social and environmental agency. Salvaged US textbooks are sold in Asia, and oak furniture discarded in England is sold in Eugene. "Our latest venture is a mattress deconstruction facility in Duluth," McDonald notes. "Mattresses are a nightmare in the waste stream." The revenue from these activities funds social programs, such as homeless services and affordable housing. "We've built 700 units of housing," he says, showing plans for a new bulding in Springfield. "The hallmark of our agency is the integration of community service and waste-based business."

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 17 June 2004

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