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Charity starting new initiative

By Staff | Jan 13, 2012

A project completed by the Caregivers Fix-It Team.

An established local charity successfully started a new initiative to help seniors and disabled citizens through home repairs and special accommodations last month.

In early December, the Good Shepherd Caregivers Fix-it team completed its first project, a handicap accessibility ramp for one of the organizations care receivers.

The money to build the ramp was raised through the GSG’s Rubber Ducky Classic, rubber duck race which took place around Labor Day of last year. The group sold rubber ducks to be sent down the Town Run. The fund raiser proved to be successful with the group selling several hundred ducks. The group plans to hold the second Annual Rubber Ducky Classic this summer to continue raising funds for projects around the community.

Gary Tucker of GSG said that the group has many projects they plan to take on in the future and are always looking for volunteers to build their team. According to Tucker, the group has 16 projects on their to-do list and will be continuing its fund-raising efforts to support them.

“We raised a nice amount of seed funds during the Rubber Ducky Classic, but not nearly enough to cover every project,” Tucker said.

The Good Shepherd Caregivers are hosting their next major fundraiser this Friday, a spaghetti dinner at the Fire Hall. The spaghetti dinner is one of GSG’s newer events and according to Tucker, attendance grows every year, so much so that the group had to move the event from the War Memorial Building to the fire hall.

Tickets for the dinner are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Tucker said that the dinner is used as an opportunity to inform the community about GSG and let them know what exactly they do and why their fund-raising efforts are important.

GSG focuses their efforts on assisting seniors and disabled citizens of Jefferson County become self-sufficient and independent. The group has been around since 1990 and now consists of over 350 volunteers and has over 500 care receivers according to their website.

Outside of the fix-it team, GSG also provides services such as raking leaves and shoveling snow, completing household chores, providing transportation to church or the grocery store, or even just stopping in for a visit to someone who may be a bit lonely.

According to Tucker, the fix-it team is a new initiative for GSG and was conceived by member John Lilga of Sharpsburg, Md. Lilga said that he would not take credit for the teams’ creation as the members of GSC have always done fix-it like jobs, the new team just formalized the project with a name.

“I’ve been involved for close to 12 years. There has always been in the background a group decision that we should have a committee for these types of projects,” Lilga said.

Lilga also said that community members should know that GSC is a true non-profit organization and that no one draws any kind of money through it.

“The Caregiver group is just a phenomenal organization,” Lilga said.