By Starrla Cray
WINSTED, MN Ninety-two-year-old Doloris Roufs got all her spring yard work done in one afternoon last week.
No, she didn’t have to go outside with garden gloves and a rake; instead, a group of juniors from Holy Trinity High School in Winsted volunteered to do the job for her.
“It’s wonderful for me,” Roufs said.
The effort was part of Holy Trinity’s service day, which takes place every spring and fall.
“We get to as many places as we can,” teacher Marv Ebensperger said.
Wednesday afternoon, seventh- through 12th-graders volunteered at the homes of 11 senior citizens, and cleaned the roadside along Highway 7.
“As far as I can tell by my records, we began doing our service days for the community, in both the spring and fall of the year, back in 2002,” campus minister Elaine Kahle said.
When the program began, Roufs was overjoyed.
“I was the first one on the list,” she said, adding that as her friends got older, some of them asked to be included, as well.
Roufs enjoys making her student helpers feel appreciated, offering them snacks midway through the afternoon, and learning their names.
“I like to know who they are,” she said, adding that the same students sometimes return year after year.
Roufs remembers getting to know one group very well a few years back.
“I got so attached to those kids,” she said.
The relationship didn’t end with the service days, either.
The students gave Roufs lots of hugs at their graduation ceremony, and Roufs told them they were welcome to visit her anytime.
“The next day, I had 11 kids here,” she recalled.
Service to the south
Lester Prairie School District is also getting into the spirit of volunteerism, and had its first service day last spring.
“The kids enjoy helping and getting outside,” Superintendent Mike McNulty said.
Projects included clean-up at local parks, raking leaves, and landscaping.
This year’s service day for Lester Prairie students in grades 6 through 12 is set for Thursday, May 7, although McNulty said it might be moved earlier due to the nice weather.