Full helpings of elbow grease and generosity were served up May 17 by Wellington High School students during their annual community service day.
Starting at 9 a.m., participants made their way to locations such as Findley State Park, the Herrick Memorial Library, Wellington Community Park, police and fire stations, and — in what’s become a tradition — the house of Helen Wiggs at 279 North Main St.
Wiggs, a retired teacher who worked in Black River for 38 years, said the help is always welcome. She treated students to lunch in her dining room, a needed treat in the midst of 90 degree temperatures.
“The kids have been coming here for about five years,” she said. “It’s wonderful and it reminds me of school days when I taught.”
Kevin Kelley, a WHS freshman, was one of many outside Wiggs’ home trimming hedges, cutting down overgrown bushes, mulching, and washing the house’s exterior.
“It’s fun to get out here and help someone who needs it,” he said. “This is my first time here as a ninth-grader, but I’ve heard about it around school before. The heat is tiring but at the end of the day it feels good.”
At Wellington Community Park, students replanted flowers in fresh dirt, cleaned up grass and mulch edges, and gathered litter in the parking lot.
“It’s nice to get out of school,” said Chris Hiner, a junior. “It’s also good to learn how to do work like this for later on in life. We’re helping someone else now but it can help you later on.”
Senior Bailey Wise agreed the outdoor work could come in handy down the line.
“We’ve just been trying to get rid of any trash we see and make everything look nice for the summer,” she said. “The community has given a lot to us so we should all be happy to give something back. Work like this can land you a nice summer job. The village hires high school students that come back from college. It’s nice to get a gist of what kind of skills are needed to do that.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.