It all started when several donors reached out to Executive Director Carole Peters seeking an opportunity for their employees to give back, Peters said in an email.
Thirty partner agencies were invited to submit a project that they wanted completed in either November or February, and 10 agencies submitted 21 projects.
On Friday, Hebron-based ITW Medical employees met with Salvation Army volunteers to do yard work for seniors in need in McHenry County. Ken Madden, executive director of the Salvation Army Golden Diners, came up with the idea.
The Golden Diners offer a meals on wheels program all over McHenry County, so they were able to ask their clients what else they needed. Seniors also can join other seniors at specific locations to eat daily lunches through the program.
“It’s really been a collaborative effort,” said Linda Reiter, Salvation Army volunteer resource manager for the Chicago Metropolitan Division. “I think what ITW is doing today is outstanding – a lot of homes are single individuals who can’t take care of these properties. This is going to stay with these folks forever.”
Volunteers convened in Hebron at 11:30 a.m. Friday, then set out to various homes in Woodstock, Wonder Lake and Hebron.
Julia Earle is a senior homeowner in Wonder Lake, and she asked the volunteers to help her with “everything.”
“It’s wonderful,” Earle said. “They’re great.”
Volunteers cleaned the gutters, washed windows and raked leaves.
Salvation Army volunteer coordinator Bill Vogt said having extra volunteers made a big difference.
“We can only do so much,” Vogt said. “When a company comes in like this, they always bring such energy into these projects.”
Madden said the goal of the meals on wheels program is to keep seniors in their homes, where they are most comfortable. Gathering volunteers to help with yard work just made sense.
“The seniors that we are working with are at about 75 years old, some of our individuals are even over 100 years old, just imagine taking care of yourself. That’s enough of a challenge let alone taking care of your yard,” Madden said.
ITW Medical truly adopted the idea of caring for the community, Peters said.
“We are grateful to ITW Medical for supporting the Day of Caring and also giving back to our county,” Peters said.