Sunday, November 3, 2002

Volunteers help seniors in West Chester Twp.

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

WEST CHESTER TWP. - About 375 volunteers helped a record number of senior citizens Saturday - raking their leaves, storing away their patio furniture and cleaning their windows for the township's fall "Raskals" event.

Raskals, whose name forms an acronym for Random Acts of Simple Kindness Affecting Local Seniors, annually attracts Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, high school students and other volunteers who are eager to help the elderly do their fall and spring chores.

The program that began here in 1996 has become so popular that Hamilton and Mason followed the township's lead this year and started their own programs.

On Saturday, while the township's volunteers helped 86 senior citizens, about 75 volunteers were helping 20 seniors in Mason.

The first fall Raskals event will happen in Hamilton on Saturday. Volunteer coordinator Carolyn Lemon said about 120 volunteers will do fall chores for about 70 seniors in both Hamilton and Middletown.

Michelle Morgan, West Chester's Raskals coordinator, is touched to see other cities recognize the program's worthiness.

"It's a really neat event," she said on Saturday, while volunteers were still working.

Township Trustee Catherine Stoker raked leaves alongside other Raskals volunteers on Saturday.

"We all get together and have fun," she said. "It was a gorgeous day to be out raking leaves and washing windows."


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