Volunteers Raking Leaves for Seniors


Video by nbc26.com

Volunteers Raking Leaves for Seniors

By Stacy Engebretson. CREATED Nov 19, 2013

Green Bay, WI -- After nearly 50 years of raking leaves at their Green Bay home, Bobbie and Henry Kirchoff need a break.  

"It is a lot of work and we used to do it ourselves, but you know there comes a point where you have to have help," said Bobbie.  

The Kirchoff's, who are retired teachers and lifelong volunteers, are now on the receiving end of the circle of giving. This past summer, five co-workers at Humana helped create the Neighborhood Volunteer Connection. It's a year-round program where people donate their time to do lawn maintenance and light house cleaning for seniors and the disabled.

"It's something that puts a smile on your face, so you can't help but love doing it," said volunteer Amanda Readman. 

"Volunteers are giving a lot, but they're getting a lot," added volunteer Jeff VandeLoo. "To know what you're doing for someone to help them stay in their home, and the smile on their face, and the warmth that brought to me inside, knowing what it means to them, is just awesome." 

VandeLoo and his group have teamed-up with the Volunteer Center of Brown County to connect the workers with more than 100 people in need.

"I feel so good about being a strong community partner, because we're all about building a stronger community through volunteerism," said Christine Danielson, Executive Director of the Volunteer Center of Brown County.

With raking season coming to a close, now there's a new need. The Volunteer Center is looking for 50 people to shovel.

"It'll be so important that snow removal is done for walkways, so that many of these seniors are receiving Meals on Wheels. Without that service, there's a chance they wouldn't get their meals delivered," explained VandeLoo.

Readman adds, "We'll take any and all that are just willing to put a little time and effort into volunteering." 

It's time well spent to help people like Kirchoff's.

"I don't know what we would do without them," said Bonnie. "I guess all you can really say is thanks."

They're words of appreciation from a woman who has given so much to so many over the years.

"Everyone is busy, but you can't be too busy to volunteer. I really believe that," said Bonnie.

Volunteers with the program do more than just physical work. They also play cards or just talk with the seniors, so they don't feel so isolated.

If you'd like to learn more about the Neighborhood Volunteer Connection, click here for information on how to get involved.