Monday, November 06, 2000

Volunteers do heavy chores for elders

By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WEST CHESTER TWP. — It's a community volunteer program with a mischievous name but good intentions beyond question.

        This weekend a record number of volunteers from RASKALS (Random Acts of Simple Kindness Affecting Local Seniors) scurried throughout West Chester Township to help seniors with house repairs, chores and yard work.

        The innovative community service program, which is held twice a year, attracted more than 600 volunteers Saturday. The number of volunteers has increased sharply since 1996 when RASKALS was launched with only 41 volunteers.

        And that is typical of this booming Butler County community, said Paula Whyrick, West Chester Township administrative assistant and one of the coordinators of the program.

        “The response of volunteers has been great,” said Ms. Whyrick. “We are thrilled at the prospects of so many people stepping forward and helping so many senior citizens.”

        The township program, which is held the first Saturday in November and May, solicits requests from area seniors who are unable to do work in and around their homes. The goal is to provide them with seasonal help.

        West Chester Township Administrator David Gully, a co-founder of the program, said that thanks to “an army of volunteers a lot of senior citizens will be able to continue to live in their homes.”

        Bob Hulse is one 64-year-old township resident who appreciates the help. Saturday a group of Boy Scouts raked and bagged his leaves.

        “There are a lot of people in this township willing to help out, and I appreciate it. It's a great program,” Mr. Hulse said.

        Seniors interested in signing up for the spring RASKALS services, or volunteers interested in helping, can call the township administration office at 777-5900.


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