It’s an early morning in late October as snow falls from the sky and turns to rain before hitting the ground that is covered in freshly fallen leaves. Though the temperature is near freezing outside, nearly 450 volunteers bundled in their hats, coats and gloves make their way to locations around Delaware to begin volunteering for Make A Difference Day in Delaware County.
For first-time volunteer Jarod Groulx, member of the Kiwanis Club of Delaware County, volunteering is a privilege and he feels honored to serve despite the cold frigid temperatures. “I enjoy giving back, you met some really great people, and the weather had nothing to do with it,” said Groulx. Accompanied by three younger volunteers, together they raked up nearly 20 bags of leaves in just over an hour.
Throughout the day, volunteers gave more than 1150 hours of service to nearly 53 older adults and 22 nonprofits in Delaware County. Projects included yard work, garage cleanups among other outdoor chores. Bill Sheppard, a Korean War Veteran, looks forward to the day every year. “As a senior we need all the help we can get, so we can get as much done as possible,” says Sheppard.
Sheppard says he doesn’t just look forward to Make A Difference Day because of the extra help, he looks forward to it because of the volunteers and how good of a job they do. “I think that volunteers are surprisingly the best help; I’ve had others who I’ve paid for chores, and the volunteers do a better job,” said Sheppard.
Delaware older adult Katherine Stone anticipates volunteers at her home for the day. Stone, who is legally blind and requires the use of a hearing aid, happily welcomes the help. For the past three years Stone has participated in Make A Difference Day and she always request her volunteers be Ohio Wesleyan University students as she has a personal connection. “I’ve had three Ohio Wesleyan graduates in my family, so having the students here is kind of like family,” said Stone.
With the goal of improving the lives of others front and center, it could also be said that those who provided help were impacted as well. For more information, visit www.connectionsvolunteercenter.org or call 740.363.5000. Click here to watch the video from 2017 Connections Volunteer Center Make A Difference Day
Mark your calendars for 2018 Make A Difference Day on Saturday, Oct. 27!
Article by Tiana Reed, HelpLine Marketing Intern and Senior at The Ohio State University