Volunteers Help the Community Ahead of This Year's Spring Clean-Up in Concordia

By Catherine Doud
Sisters of St. Joseph

There were some dirty jobs to do Saturday in Concordia. Luckily there was a hardworking crew of 14 Concordia students and six sponsors and other adults that gathered early Saturday morning at the Nazareth Motherhouse ready to tackle those tasks.

"This is a good working crew, I tell you what!" Sister Anna Marie Broxterman said as she watched a group of volunteers take on the backbreaking work of hauling wheelbarrows full of mulch into the
Concordia Community Garden of Hope. "These kids have been fun!"

The community garden was just one of the beneficiaries of the volunteer assistance. Volunteers aided with projects at Manna House of Prayer, North Mound and nine private residences in Concordia.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia organized the volunteer day to help people in Concordia that needed assistance with yard work, light housework and removal of bagged trash. Those needing help were asked to fill out an application form at the Concordia Senior Citizens Center with priority given to those with physical limitations, including the elderly and people with disabilities.

"This is the first time we've ever done it," said Laura Hansen, Administrative Assistant of Development and new Volunteer Program Coordinator with the Sisters of St. Joseph. "I was really impressed with
how hard these kids worked. They were so great. They just came because they wanted to help out. They had such great attitudes and work ethic."

Concordia FFA sponsor Krystal Nelson and JAG teacher Jordan Champlin coordinated with their students to volunteer at the event. A National Honor Society student and other interested adults in the community rounded out the crew. Workers were kept hydrated with bottled water donated by Farm Bureau, Cloud County Co-op, Concordia Auto Mart and Central National Bank. Some volunteers stayed hard at work until noon. Lunch was provided.

"People really appreciated the assistance," Hansen said. "They were so thrilled that we would do this. I must have heard 'thank you' 50 times today."

She said that none of the projects were overwhelming, but were things that could be difficult for elderly or disabled residents to do on their own, such as raking out flower beds, moving large or heavy items to the curb for removal and picking up downed limbs.