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Published: Wednesday, 4/27/2005

Northwood: Students assist seniors on yard, home services

Jennifer Gasiorowski and Kelly Agler (with the rake), both 17 and seniors, clean up the yard of Mrs. Carole Lynch as part of their civic work. Jennifer Gasiorowski and Kelly Agler (with the rake), both 17 and seniors, clean up the yard of Mrs. Carole Lynch as part of their civic work.

Carole Lynch said she can still do most of her own yard work, but said some chores are easier to do than others.

"I do all my own work, but I hate to rake, ya know," said the 78-year-old Northwood resident.

But she was able to get some help with raking leaves and picking up sticks after she discovered that students from the Northwood High School Key Club recently began a new outreach program specifically to assist Northwood senior citizens with yard work.

"When I saw [they would do] raking, I thought I'd take them up on that," Mrs. Lynch said last week on her front porch while taking a break from helping the two students who drove to her home on Wise Street to help her out.

The Key Club recently expanded their community volunteer services from helping out at blood drives and canned food drives to assisting senior citizens with their yard work for free, said Tim Laird, teacher and Key Club adviser.

He said about 25 students who are a part of the club will do any type of lawn work, including brush pickup, bush trimming, cleaning out gutters, cleaning windows, or raking. During the winter months, the students also plan to help by shoveling snow.

In return, the senior citizens have the option of giving a donation to a scholarship fund through the school.

He said the students have been giving out flyers and talking to senior citizens at meetings and luncheons to get the word out about the new program.

"We're just in the process of really spreading the word of the program," Mr. Laird said, adding that Mrs. Lynch was the second senior citizen the students have assisted.

Seniors Kelly Agler, 17, president of the Key Club, and Jennifer Gasiorowski, 17, treasurer of the club, were the two who volunteered to help out Mrs. Lynch.

"It's just a few hours out of your day," Kelly said. "They're enjoyable to be around, and they've got some good stories."

Kelly said she thought it was good to get the outreach program established this year so younger students could continue the program.

"It's just simple help," Jennifer added. "I think it's important to give back to your community. No matter what you're doing, it makes you feel good."

Though she is still able to mow her own lawn and do other outdoor chores, Mrs. Lynch said the program will especially benefit those senior citizens who aren't able to do as much.

"I think it's a wonderful program," she said, "and I hope they keep it up."

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