All hands on deck for PHS Volunteer Day Wednesday

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Helping clean up the grounds of Dewey Field and the Jim Kaufman Track Wednesday morning during the annual PHS Volunteer Day were, from left, 10th grader Sean Parnell, paraeducator Heidi Love, eighth grader Torry Simmons, PHS and PMS special education teacher Kris Finn and paraeducator Kelly Whiton.

Of all the activities of the Perry High School Homecoming week, none brings the students more fully into the community outside the school than the Volunteer Day outreach activities. Nearly all the PHS students participate in the once-a-year exercise in giving back.

The brainchild of retired PHS instructor Linda Kaufman, Volunteer Day emphasizes tidying up the grounds around all three schools and in other public and private spaces around town.

Along with the school yards, this year’s efforts focused on the Perry Public Library grounds, the McCreary Community Building and Wiese Park, with a group of young people also picking up litter along the Raccoon River Valley Trail and Iowa Highway 141.

Seven PHS students worked with the Perry Historic Preservation Commission in repairing veterans’ medallions in Violet Hill Cemetery. The medallions were set in concrete donated by Stokely Lumber Co.

The largest group of volunteers worked at five Habitat for Humanity home sites in Perry. More than 100 students pulled weeds, removed garbage and generally spruced up the grounds of houses at 2013 W. Third St., 1716 Vine St., 1106 30th St., 614 Fifth St. and 612 Warford St.

Dallas County Habitat for Humanity Director Omar Padilla also led a 10-person Habitat team at the five sites. The student helpers kicked off Habitat’s four-day Rock the Block in Perry that runs through Saturday, Sept. 23, with volunteers helping to paint, weatherize, landscape and make home repairs.

Volunteers can register at the Habitat for Humanity website, or just show up at Wiese Park at 8 a.m. or noon on any or all of the four days.

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