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Volunteers help homeowners in need through Spirit of Service

Helena Middle Schoolers gardening
Posted at 5:30 PM, May 17, 2024

HELENA — Tree trimming, painting, and lawn maintenance are just a few of the projects that volunteers are working on for the 2024 Spirit of Service.

"I'm happy knowing that the stuff we do goes to someone that needs it," said CJ Flanagan.

He was one of the Youth Build students volunteering on Friday.

Youth Build volunteers

Flanagan said, "This deck was in pretty bad shape before we took it down. It was dry-rotted out pretty bad. No one should have been walking on it at all."

One of the Youth Build supervisors, Kyle Metzger, had a special connection to the area they were helping in.

"I grew up in this neighborhood. So, it's cool to be back and helping everybody out," he said.

Youth Build raking

Metzger said the Youth Build students were enjoying their time helping others.

"There's a misconception with teenagers not caring about certain things, [but] that's one thing we do community service for is they love coming out here and doing this," he said.

Youth Build getting rid of trash

Seven volunteer teams are partnering with the United Way on 15 homes this year.

Spirit of Service aims to support homeowners who are elderly, disabled, or veterans.

Deconstructed deck

Another volunteer team was made up of 7th graders from Helena Middle School.

One of those 7th graders was Lincoln Glatz.

He said, "As a community, we should be able to communicate with each other, be nice to each other, understand each other, and help each other out."

Two classes were mowing the yard, clearing gutters, and trimming hedges.

Snovelle with students

"[This shows] these kids that a community is full circle. They help us, we help them," said 7th grade teacher Tyson Blaz.

The 7th graders were happy to help for multiple reasons.

"It's better than English," said Glatz.

The students were working at Janet Snovelle's home.

She said, "A lot of excitement and a lot of fun, but a lot of work got done."

Snovelle said that she would have struggled to do the work herself.

"It means a lot to me because I live alone, and it would be a long time and a lot of hard work for me to do it myself."

The United Way estimates that volunteers are putting in over 5,000 hours of manpower today.