West Chester Twp. residents do chores for the elderly during the semi-annual Random Acts of Simple Kindness Affecting Local Seniors (RASKALS) event.

West Chester event that helps older residents in need of volunteers

Martie Young looks forward every spring and fall when a group of volunteers, usually young people, come to work on her yard. This year they’ll be spreading 20 bags of mulch, picking up random sticks and debris from the winter in her yard and any other odd jobs they or the 75-year-old Young notice needs attending.

RELATED: Volunteers and seniors benefit from RASKALS program

“It’s amazing,” she said. “They drive up, pile out and they get down to business.”

Township spokeswoman Barb Wilson said there are 54 senior citizens who have signed up for the clean-up on May 5 but as of last week only 30 volunteers were committed. That is not unusual, she said they always get an influx of volunteers closer to the date, after people’s weekend plans have solidified. They usually get 150 to 200 volunteers in the spring.

They are trying something new this year, hoping to accommodate everyone on their client list. If volunteers can’t make it on the actual RASKAL event day, they can offer their time for another weekend.

“Time is so much more precious it seems and people have a hard time dividing up their time on the weekends,” Wilson said. “We have said if this day isn’t going to work for you, is there another day in the near future that you can help. We are trying to make it as personalized as we can.”

Wilson said if they don’t get enough volunteers they may need to go back to their elderly clients to see if they might have family members who can help them.

Young has been getting help for the last eight years or so and she said it’s about so much more than just getting work done around the house.

“I just have become good friends with some of them because they come every year, twice a year actually. It warms my heart to see the teenagers and the way they are willing to pitch in and help…,” she said. “After we’re all done we’ll gather around and hold hands and say a thankful prayer which is really nice. They are very caring and I enjoy them immensely.”

For more information, call 513-759-7312 or to sign up to be a volunteer visit www.westchesteroh.org

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