Friday, March 5, 2010

Woman Volunteers To Layoff To Save Co-Workers Job

Click To Read Full Article From ABC
There were no tears when Sharon Singleton got called into her boss' office to be told her job had been eliminated. Those came later.
While Singleton, one of 11 employees let go by the city of Lathrop, Calif., took a day off to figure out her next step, her colleague was quietly deciding to give up her own job to save someone else's.
Patricia "Patti" Overy, a mother of four, said she too was shocked by the layoffs, which claimed two members of the close-knit finance department where she had done accounting work for seven years. Her job was spared.
"I started kind of doing a little soul searching and looking at my situation," Overy said, "and went home and talked with my husband."
She and her husband, a city worker in nearby Tracy, Calif., talked about their finances and their children -- one teenager, a 7-year-old and twin 4-year-olds. They talked about health insurance and the job market. And then they decided together that Overy should give up her job and let someone else take it.
She then requested a meeting with her boss and City Manager Cary Keaten and asked to be laid off.
"I thought I could cope a little better with the loss of a job for awhile than any of my other co-workers," she said.
Overy said she hadn't been considering leaving her job or even looking for a new job when the layoffs were announced. But at 40 years old, she knew she'd have an easier time re-entering the job market than someone who was older -- someone like Singleton.
Overy didn't know her job would be going to Singleton when she offered to leave city hall -- only that her job would go either to Singleton, a city employee for six years, or another middle-aged woman who had worked for the city for 15 years.
Singleton, 63, said she returned to work two days after being laid off and quickly was whisked into the boss' office and told about Overy's offer.
"I was flabbergasted, of course. Just total shock, just kind of stood there," she said. "Then yes, had some tears."
Overy said she was sitting at her desk that day when Singleton came up to her and said, "What are you doing?"
"It was very emotional," Overy said.

Man Donates 100,000 Trees In Memory of Father

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Middle Tennessee man is giving away 100,000 trees to honor his father and to make the state a greener place to live.
Chris Clark's life is deeply rooted in his love for trees.
"Can't tell you how many trees I've looked at in my life," he said. "I mean they do so much more than provide us with the aesthetic beauty."
Clark inherited that love from his father, Steve Clark, who founded the family's landscape engineering business, Steve Clark & Associates.
His father died six years ago, on the first day of spring.
Clark said, "I can't remember a time in my life where he wouldn't ask me, ‘Do you know why I do what I do?'  Of course I knew, but I would say, ‘Why?' and he would say, ‘I do it for you, for your children and their children.'"
To honor his father and celebrate the business' 35th anniversary, Clark has decided to share his love of trees with his fellow Tennesseans.
Eight different tree species have been delivered to more than 10 distribution centers across the state and each county will get 600 to 1,000 trees.
To plant the trees, Clark aims to get volunteers, children, public and private developments, universities, and others involved in the grassroots effort.
"I haven't asked for any money from anybody. I'm trying to do this by myself.  My sponsorship is bodies. It's Tennesseans going out and planting these trees," he said.
Doug Hoskin with the Cumberland River Compact is taking a couple thousand of the trees to plant along local stream banks.
"Right away, those trees may not seem that significant," Hoskin said, "but later on, you're basically planting something that is going to be there for generations."
It's more about growing environmentally-conscious people than it is about growing trees.
"The trees are really just a symbol, it's a way for people to put aside something for a minute and think about something bigger than them selves," Clark said.
If you would like some of the free trees for a neighborhood, corporate or campus project, contact Steve Clark & Associates or in Nashville, Jeffrey Ezell at 615-880-2419.