Students volunteer for Service South Rowan

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 31, 2011

By Anita Overstreet
For the Salisbury Post
On a cool Saturday morning around 8, you don’t expect 86 middle and high school students, as well as adults, to be preparing to go out on a service project wearing bright hi-lighter yellow shirts. Nor do you expect them to spend their entire morning doing yard work for the elderly in their neighborhood.
However, this group of young people may surprise you.
These individuals volunteered their time recently to be involved in the 5th annual Service South Rowan project, an effort started by Carrie Hoffner. The morning began with check-in, shirt distribution and a rundown of the events — as well as the expectations — of the day. Then the participants quickly took a group picture and dispersed to one of 10 work sites at local homes.
Volunteers all have ties to southern Rowan. They come from churches and schools, mainly South Rowan FFA and Corriher Lipe Middle BETA club, as well as members of the Future Farmers of America Alumni Association. Sponsors Food Lion, Carolina Farm Credit, Rowan County Farm Bureau and the South Rowan YMCA service club make the projects possible.
People helped by the service project are nominated by church congregations or hear about this service by word of mouth. At the individual sites, volunteers performed work requested by homeowners, including yard work, maintenance such as painting, and even building an access ramp at home house.
As they worked on their projects until around noon, the volunteers had fun interacting with each other and the homeowners.
Hazel Garver, a homeowner who has received these services the past five years, walked out on her front porch to give instruction as to how and what she wanted done. She wound up telling Laura Hoffner, a South Rowan FFA advisor, that she appreciates such a “good group of kids” and that she enjoys being able to talk to them.
Participation in Service South Rowan is rising, organizers say, because of the atmosphere during the projects and the attitudes of the people who have taken part year after year. It started with 75 volunteers and now draws around 120.
Anita Overstreet is a senior at East Rowan High School and an intern at the Salisbury Post.