News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 11, 2011

Volunteers turn out for 9/11 Day of Service

Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Building handicapped ramps, pulling weeds along a city park trail and assembling packages for U.S. military personnel were all part of a 9/11 Day of Service on Saturday organized by Terre Haute Ministries.

The community effort is part of a national day of service effort, said Honnalora Hubbard, director of the Terre Haute Ministries, a group of nearly 50 churches and faith-based organizations.

A small group of volunteers met at the steps of Terre Haute City Hall, where Mayor Duke Bennett read a proclamation for the Day of Service. The volunteers then dispersed to construct two handicap ramps, one in the 3800 block of Hollywood Drive and a second in the 2200 block of Haythorne Avenue.

“We are building the ramps with a partnership with The Will Center and SAWs ramps,” Hubbard said. “There are about 18 individuals in the community who are literally stuck in their homes because of no handicapped accessibility.”

SAWs is a non-profit all volunteer ministry funded by Second Presbyterian and St. Luke’s United Methodist churches of Indianapolis. The group constructs ramps for the handicapped.

Peter Ciancone, director of the Wabash Independent Living and Learning Center, said volunteers enable the center to greatly reduce costs and increase the number of ramps that can be constructed.

“When you have labor that knows how to do this and volunteers who want to work, that reduces the cost about $700” per ramp, Ciancone said. That results in the construction of 10 to 12 ramps, Ciancone said, instead of four ramps, if contracted out for construction.

On the east side of Terre Haute, a youth group worked at the Dobbs Park Nature Center.

Rusty Jordan and John Strahm, members of the Eastside Church of Christ, prepared to pull weeds around the center. Strahm brought in a box of cinnamon rolls for volunteers.

Jordan said church members try “to do a service project every month. We saw this as a great opportunity to work with the community to make this a better place.”

Jeff Griggs, a member of the church and a resident of a neighborhood next to Dobbs Park, said he wanted to help “to make sure the park looks nice for my neighborhood. We have had breakfast in the park here.”

Other Day of Service activities included preparing packages for shipment overseas.

Salvation Army Capt. Gordan Hoag said 50 to 75 shoebox-size packages, to be sent to U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq, were assembled Saturday by six volunteers at the Salvation Army building at 234 S. Eighth St.

The packages were a result of $1,150 in donations, Hoag said, with the largest single contribution — at $1,000 — coming from Honey Creek Collision, an auto body repair company. The packages included hygiene items such as toothpaste, soaps and body wash, as well as socks and snack items, such as crackers and candy.

Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.