The DAC of Aitkin County held a fundraiser on Friday, July 12 at Paulbeck’s County Market.
The team from DAC and DAC Mart bagged groceries for donations in order to raise the money needed to buy a worm harvester to be used at their new business location in Aitkin called DAC Works. This is in the old Lightening Motorsports location. The DAC will use this new location to further the employment opportunities for the clients that they serve.
DAC Works will offer two new business models. The first being a retail tool thrift store named “Tool Mart.” Tool Mart will work much like its sister location, DAC Mart, which takes donations of clothing and housewares. The public is asked to donate their used hand tools, power tools, lawn equipment needing minimal repairs such as mowers, weed whips, chain saws, and gardening tools on any Wednesday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at DAC Works, located at 1115 Second St. NW, Aitkin. A DAC Works employee must be present to accept the items. These items will be refurbished, cleaned and repaired by clients of the DAC and then sold to customers in the retail portion of the new DAC Works building. They will not be taking building materials, paint or appliances.
Better Worms and Gardens
The second business is the vermiculture center known as “Better Worms & Gardens,” This area will consist of worm farming night crawlers and their waste products, called “castings.” Castings are a natural and organic fertilizer and this by-product is in great demand in this era of organic farming. The worms will be sold for fishing, composting and gardening. The worm farm will allow clients to learn skills they would not normally have access to. The clients who will work as vermiculture technicians will be responsible for the entire process from start to finish which will include the feeding, sorting, recording PH levels, packaging and delivery. That is where the worm harvester or the “Dirt Squirt,” as it is called in the industry, will be a necessary tool for Better Worms & Gardens. The DAC team has set a goal of $2000 to purchase this harvester. And with the encouragement of Paulbeck’s cashiers and the enthusiasm of the DAC team, they were able to raise over $500. They also have a donation jar at the DAC Mart store where they are asking the public to “leave your change, be the change.” They have raised a combined total of $750 towards the purchase of the worm harvester. The crew at the DAC Mart store wants to let the public know that starting Oct. 2019 the store will host a new area dedicated to showcasing craft items and seasonal gifts that are handmade by the clients of the DAC. Proceeds from the sale of these items is paid back to the clients who made them.