This year for the community project, our interns cleaned up the yards of three seniors in Lorain: Ms. Delores Slone, Ms. Bessy Marsh, and Ms. Helen Hicks. The interns worked hard, pulling weeds, trimming bushes, mulching, and mowing.
Each property had different levels of need. One property, seen on the right, needed the fence cleared of the weeds that had overtaken it. The bulk of the work here was weeding and trimming. The transformation was a success as the interns loaded up over 20 trash bags of weeds, and Bessy, the homeowner happily commented, “It looks completely different, brand new!”
The other two properties needed work cleaning up the flowerbeds. Weeds were pulled, lawns were mowed, and bushes were trimmed. But most importantly, the residents were thrilled! Not only did these women get outdoor makeovers, but they were also able to spend the afternoon with a cadre of wonderful interns. Each woman invited the interns to come back again.
The interns were also touched by the experience. Gretchen Heideloff, from the College of Wooster explained, “At first sight it did not look like there would be much to do, but in the end we actually accomplished a lot of work. To learn that the woman’s house whose yard we cleaned up did not have a foundation, disheartened me. I did not understand the extent of that statement until we pulled weeds on the side of her house and the roots were coming from inside the house. This is so sad. Everyday I learn about problems that people experience that I have never experienced, and most likely never will. I can find comfort, though, in knowing that hopefully we made a difference to this woman, and that another organization is supposed to help fix the foundation of her house.”
Rachel Salyer, from the University of Akron, wrote, “The community project was on Wednesday and let me tell you, my back is SORE from shoveling mulch! All 29 interns split into groups and traveled to three different houses in Lorain to do yard work for elderly citizens. While I can’t lie and say I love physical labor, it was definitely a very rewarding experience. Helen, the elderly resident in the house I worked on, said at one point “This is everything I’ve ever dreamed of.” While pulling weeds and laying some mulch doesn’t seem like it would be life-changing, it was beyond touching to see how much this simple task meant to such a sweet, lovely woman. I was very impressed by how incredibly hard everyone worked and how seriously all of the interns took this task. I definitely feel like we made a genuine difference in the lives of three Lorain County citizens, so the sore back is definitely worth it.”
After the interns completed their projects, we finished out the day with pizza and water balloons. You can check out all of the pictures from the community project here.
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