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Looking for volunteers to help area seniors in need



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April 20, 2011 - There is a movement of sorts happening in our community. A movement of neighbors reaching out and helping neighbors; existing organizations working together capitalizing and coordinating strengths to help folks in need.

And, while there may be snow on the ground this week, most folks won't confuse this season of Easter with that of Christmas . . . accept for those volunteering to give of their time and being part of the growing movement. Last week, members of the Christmas in Action group, Kensington Orion Church, Love INC and Orion Township sat down to discuss one of the movement's upcoming events to help several families in need.

Christmas in Action (CIA) comes to the Orion/Oxford/Addison community, Saturday, April 30 and four area residents will get the helping hand(s) they need home foundations will be shored up, roofs mended, yards will be cleaned and homes will be made safe.

"This is a one-day-a-year event," said Earl Caron, Addison Township resident and CIA volunteer. "And, it is all volunteer based."

Two homes in Orion Township, one in Oxford and one in Addison will be repaired. The work is part of CIA's mission to "provide free home repairs that enable low-income seniors to remain safe, warm and independent in their own homes."

According to Caron and fellow CIA volunteer and Addison resident Bob Riley, plenty of volunteers are still needed to complete the work on April 30, though much of the materials, food and beverages have been donated.

"Jets Pizza, Domino's, G's Pizza, Kountry Korner and Chardonnay's Restaurant have pitched in for food. Independence Village will prepare lunch, their residents will serve it. The fire department will take care of coffee. Larry Mullins Construction will provide dumpsters and concrete," Riley said, noting he is grateful members of Orion, Oxford and Addison township's elected officials are also behind the project.

After the work is complete, Riley said members of CIA will start looking for families to help for the 2012 event. And, once that starts, his group will rely on the likes of Sandy Weaver and Love INC a group that acts as a "clearing house" connecting those in need with those agencies, groups and churches who want to help.

According to Weaver, Love INC works with about 20 area churches and local agencies like Oxford-Orion FISH and Lighthouse. Many times, she said, folks in need will call local governments looking for help. Penny Schults, Orion Township Clerk, said, when that happens, local governments can give the referrals to Love INC. Love INC then verifies the need and finds matches to offer help.

According to Oxford resident and Kensington Church member Sue Kinch, "A lot of organizations and people want to help, but don't know where to help, groups like Love INC can help coordinate. When you serve, you give your life meaning and that feels good."

To find out how you can volunteer to help out on April 30, call the CIA at 248-618-7433; Love, INC at 248-693-4357; Kensington Church, 248-786-0600.

Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: don@dontrushmedon.com
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