Rollin' up their sleeves
When the Wadena-Deer Creek High School's Day of Caring crew arrived and began raking and cleaning out flower beds at Ruth Miller's Wadena home, she couldn't stop smiling.
"Oh, this helps me out a lot. It's worth so much to me. Sometimes, you just can't do it at my age," said Miller, who just turned 79 years young. This is her third year of requesting WDC students clean up her yard, and she says it's such a wonderful service the school provides to residents like herself.
The 9th annual Day of Caring was held May 3 with 265 students and 21 staff volunteering at 102 homes to rake leaves, clean out flower beds, wash windows and more in Wadena, Deer Creek and Bluffton. That's 1,430 volunteer hours!
National Honor Society (NHS) advisor Dawn Hamelau, who spearheads the project, was thrilled to provide this service opportunity. It was a hectic, busy day, but one with rich rewards.
"Our kids worked very hard throughout the day and enjoyed meeting people in our communities. It's grown into an event that residents look forward to and we do too," said Hamelau.
This year's NHS student coordinators were Taylor Dirks, Sarah Moen, Kayla Peters, Gabi Ross and McKayla Woods, who handled the details of organizing the community job requests, assigning crews and assembling rakes, window cleaner and other supplies.
WDC sophomore Nick Soroko said he likes being outdoors and helping people.
"This is my second year of helping with Day of Caring and I really enjoy it. I like meeting the people too," he said.
Mike Safratowich, 88, is another Wadena resident who greatly appreciates the help from Day of Caring students. He also enjoys visiting with the kids.
"I've had kids coming about three, four years now and I really appreciate it. It would take me a whole week to do what they can do in a couple of hours," said Safratowich.