A 560-volunteer corps from Case Western Reserve University will hit the streets of Cleveland for the university's traditional day of service, Case for Community Day, Friday, September 25. This year, the campus broke a record in filling all the volunteer slots at 60 project locations in less than a week.
Among the 60 project sites is a campus neighbor—the Abington Arms Apartments, 11501 Mayfield Road. Residents will open their doors for an opportunity to receive help with some fall cleaning.
The 152-suite, 13-story apartment complex has benefited from volunteer efforts since the service day's inception in 2002.
Susan Persing, Abington Arms' property manager, says the number of resident requests for volunteer help continues to grow each year. This year 40 residents have requested help from 20 volunteers who have signed up to work on this project. Depending upon the amount of work required, Persing says, about 75 percent of the resident requests should be filled by the volunteers who will be at the apartment complex for the afternoon.
"When the volunteers finish, our residents have a real feel-good feeling about their newly cleaned apartments," says Persing.
The student volunteers go above and beyond just sprucing up.
Persing said last year's volunteers connected with the residents. One group in particular listened to the plight of a resident who talked about poor service and verbal abuse she was receiving from a homecare provider. The volunteers reported the situation to Persing who was assisted the resident.
"Our residents enjoy interacting with the students. In this particular case, the resident felt comfortable talking about the situation with the volunteers," said Persing. Later she reported the resident was tearfully thankful for the intervention on the part of the volunteers.
According to Sean Parker, Abington's service coordinator, other residents just need the extra help to replace old light bulbs and do some light housework that is challenging for people who no longer have the mobility of the younger volunteers.
"The volunteer efforts help us continue to provide a healthy and safe environment for our residents," adds Parker.
According to Latisha James, director of Center for Community Partnerships, the day begins with a kick-off lunch at 11 a.m. in Thwing Student Center, followed by volunteers being shuttled to sites around the city to help with a range of activities from an on-campus sports camp for over 300 school children from neighboring schools to landscaping work for 60 volunteers in the Cultural Gardens along MLK Drive and 30 at Lake View Cemetery. Some volunteers will remain on campus for blood and food drives, counting and rolling coins donated for the Pennies for Peace campaign to build schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan, making blankets for Providence House and retooling toys for children with disabilities.
Go online for information about the program.
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