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125 from Our Lady church in Aurora pitch in to help residents, organizations

Published: August 24, 2016 1:00 AM
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Aurora -- This summer, more than 125 members of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish ventured out into the community to help neighbors and offer fellowship to senior citizens.

July 23°was one of the hottest days of the summer, topping out at 93 degrees, but that didn't stop the volunteers in yellow T-shirts from joining together°and helping those in need.

At Anna Maria and Independence Village, many spent time hosting a cookout for residents.°In addition to burgers and hot dogs, parishioners brought homemade side dishes and desserts.

An ice cream social took place at Aurora Manor, which allowed some of Our Lady's youngest volunteers to participate.°Three of the youngest also provided a piano recital for residents.°

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The Volunteers of America welcomed another group. Morning and afternoon crews spent their time sorting and tagging clothing.°

At Caritas Cafe in Ravenna, volunteers deep-cleaned the venue, shampooed the carpets and made curtains, along with organizing office supplies at the Catholic Charities office.

Caritas Cafe°provides outreach to those in need by serving coffee and doughnuts while offering hospitality and social interaction to its patrons. Located at 206 W. Main St., it is open°weekdays from°9 to 11:30 a.m.

Meanwhile, five homeowners in Aurora welcomed more than 50 volunteers to help in various ways.

Volunteers worked through the heat to remove trees from power lines, clear overgrown limbs and branches, remove dead shrubs, weed, trim, mow, till and seed.

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At one site, a home was power-washed, and at another a deck and garage were power-washed and painted.

Fences were dug out and removed from another site, and a City Councilman stopped by to pitch in, helping haul away several truckloads of metal fencing.°

After work was completed, parishioners -- most still wearing their yellow work T-shirts -- joined together for Mass and a cookout.°

The Rev. James Daprile was encouraged by the large turnout of volunteers this year.°He went from site to site, visiting with homeowners, pitching in to work, taking photos and thanking the volunteers.

The following week, he wrote these words to the parish: "On the hottest day of the year, the coolest people of Our Lady did the sizzling works of mercy.° Thanks be to God."

In 61 years, Our Lady has grown from a small mission church to a vibrant, faithful community of 1,350 families. To learn more about the parish, call 330-562-8519°or visit www.olphaurora.org.

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