KATU NEWS, PORTLAND, Ore. – One man is offering his paving services at no charge to fill in troublesome potholes through his Potholes for Poverty program. But on one condition: if people chip in money or time to their favorite charity. Ken VanDomelen says people should call their city first to see if it will fix a pothole, but for anyone who’s still frustrated, his paving company offers a solution, a “win-win,” he says for homeowners and the charity of their choice. After reading an editorial about potholes, VanDomelen had an idea: “And then that kind of morphed into, why don’t we fill potholes for people that don’t write editorials and would make contributions to charities?” So once a month VanDomelen’s crews from Tigard-based Coast Paving set aside a day to fix potholes at no cost as long as people help out a charity.
VanDomelen’s gotten thank you letters and he read from one of them: “Oregon Food Bank gratefully acknowledges a contribution in honor of Potholes For Poverty volunteers. The gift was made by Lori Hedrick.” Hedrick showed off the fixed pothole near her home Monday. “They’re just doing it out of the goodness of their souls, I guess, and hoping that that will keep rolling through people,” Hedrick said. “And it sure did with me. I went right in and got online and made a donation.” VanDomelen says he’s only fixing potholes cities have put on the back burner. “I’m just gonna turn my frustrations, you know, into goodwill,” he said. “This is what we do every day, and if it’s a way we can give back and have others get that same idea to do the same, I think it would be great.” The Potholes for Poverty program has its own website. Just fill out the request form with the charity and donation you agree to make and they’ll take it from there.