For the past 12 years, Yakima Rotary Club members have presented Operation TIN CUP (OTC), a holiday-season project that supports local assistance organizations. For the last eight of the 12 years, David McKinney, one of Wilkinson’s own, has spearheaded OTC, partnering with Yakima Rotoract, a group of under 30s who are service-oriented and aligned with Yakima Rotary.
“Operation TIN CUP stands for Those In Need Can yoU Pitch in,” said McKinney. “Every December I live out in the cold, sleeping in a cardboard box over the course of four days, bringing awareness about those who are less fortunate than we are.” Donations accepted include money, clothing, and food.
Benefactors of OTC in 2017 were Rod’s House, a drop-in resource center supporting Yakima’s homeless youth with survival resources, mentoring and tutoring, and access to education and employment opportunities; and the Yakima Union Gospel Mission.
“We are reaching a growing number of homeless youth every day and are working hard to help get them on their feet and headed toward a promising future,” said Josh Jackson, Rod’s House executive director. “In 2017, 373 individual youth visited Rod’s House over 6,054 times! The funds donated help ensure that the drop-in resource center remains open to share hope with Yakima’s homeless and at-risk youth.”
Over the term of McKinney’s participation, his efforts have resulted in the collection of nearly 22 tons of food, 20 tons of clothing, blankets, coats, and over $120,000 in cash donations.