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Sometimes it takes a child to raise a village

Students help residents, businesses on community service day

Staff writer

A group of Marion High School students — junior KayCee Robinson, sophomore Katey Ehrlich, and freshman Shayla Kline — gardened for Marion resident Bettie Bots at her home on Elm Street for community service day Thursday.

They later went a few doors north on Elm and picked tomatoes for Bud Hannaford.

MHS sophomores Kelli Hess and Kaitlyn Frese battled dust as they cleaned a back room behind Marion Health Mart and Pharmacy.

The two girls each took pieces of scrap wood and metal. Hess swept up leaves and debris as it collected on the floor.

It was only one part of their services for the pharmacy. Clerk Gayle Thomas said they also unloaded pallets from a semi-truck and washed windows.

“They worked solid from the moment they got her until 1 p.m.,” Thomas said. “They were fun to have here.”

Community Service Day organizer Lisa Johnson said the goal of this year’s service day was to involve more Marion businesses and residents. Previously, students had spent much of their time cleaning up public property like Brooker Springs in the park.

Johnson approached business owners at a Marion Chamber of Commerce meeting to ask what work students could complete. In the example of the pharmacy owners, she said they request the service of MHS students every three years to help them clean up their back room.

In the case of Bots and Hannaford, they were residents who called the high school and requested the student’s assistance, Johnson said. While Johnson would prefer to serve elderly or disabled residents she said there are no requirements for the community service program and she is looking for more residents to sign up in future years.

“It’s more community service if we’re actually serving individuals or businesses,” Johnson said. “The kids see that it’s a lot more relevant than picking up trash.”

Last modified Sept. 29, 2011

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