Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Volunteer program invigorated

Thanks to the efforts of a renewed volunteer program, Pickeringtons old downtown area – as well as two area parks – will be revitalized on Oct. 9.
According to Mayor Mitch OBrien, this falls volunteer day is an expansion of a very successful spring event held with Grace Fellowship in the old downtown area. He said the goal is to make it either a semi-annual or quarterly event as participation and projects are available.
“One of my main focuses this year has been to rejuvenate the Volunteers in Pickerington (VIP) program, and encourage volunteerism as a way of harnessing the skills and talents of local residents and providing an easy way for them to participate in our community, OBrien said.Volunteer days are a way to facilitate this.
Thus far, he said the city has commitments from area churches, members of the Pickerington Youth Athletic Association, scouts and local residents for this months event.
“Area residents, families, church and school groups, service clubs, scouts, school teams – anyone interested in working to beautify the city is encouraged to volunteer, OBrien said. He noted letters of credit or signatures will be provided for any student earning volunteer credit hours.
“There will be work for all ages and skill levels – painting, planting, power washing, landscaping, weeding, construction and general cleanup, the mayor said. In addition to the old downtown area, projects will be offered at Victory and Sycamore parks.
“As much as possible, we are matching tasks with those who sign up ahead of time, he added.This will allow us to take advantage of any specific skills and talents offered.
The date was selected for several reasons, OBrien said.
“We chose Oct. 9 because it is the start of a holiday weekend, allowing people an extra day to get out and volunteer, he said.The weather will be cooler and more conducive to outside work.
However, the VIP program continues year-round as a way to organize and streamline volunteer opportunities in the city, and there are projects available at all times.
“Part of the goal of the VIP program and this volunteer day is to provide area residents the opportunity to participate in an organized, structured program that will benefit both the city and the volunteer, OBrien commented.As the city strives to do more with less, and the purse strings get tighter, the need to ask for help from the residents is becoming paramount.
Although the volunteer day is quickly approaching, OBrien said there is still time to register to participate.
“I strongly encourage people to sign up ahead so we can make the best use of their talents, he said.
Those interested in participating can contact Fiona Spears in the mayors office at (614) 837-3974 or
“The more we can encourage people to take pride and responsibility in maintaining their community, the more the city will be able to provide other essential services, OBrien said.

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