Volunteers making a difference

WHEELING – A group of volunteer seniors have devoted their skills to bettering their communities for longer than a decade. This Saturday they will launch their 14th annual project by making upgrades to the Wheeling Children’s Museum.

Glenn Maxwell and his wife co-founded Belmont County’s Habitat for Humanity. In 1999, he and others began holding Make a Difference Days.

“When we started the Habitat for Humanity in 1999, we decided to do a project for the Day of Caring for the United Way and on Make a Difference Day,” he said. “I’ve been involved in it 14 years.”

He said they have normally turned up projects through word of mouth. They put the word out if anyone was in need of a one-day project.

“They’d furnish the material and we would furnish the labor,” he said.

Maxwell, a retired carpenter, noted the skills he and others have earned have been put to good use.

“We’re going to the children’s museum this week to finish up some jobs that we didn’t get completed for the Day of Caring. We volunteer for them too.”

Upgrades will include the replacement of electric lights, painting and construction of sawhorses.

“These are all carpenters and electricians,” he said. “These are the guys who have been with me the last 14 years. They like to volunteer.”

Projects in prior years have included the construction of handicapped ramps, garage roofing, painting, volunteer work with the Salvation Army and amenities for older people.

“We do a lot of things,” he said. “We try to get somebody that needs it done.”

He credited the volunteers for their dedication and generosity. They include electricians, carpenters, painters and retired gas company experts.

“They’re well trained. They’re good at anything they do,” he said. “They’re all real handy.”

Maxwell noted that a past project was named one of the top 10 in the Save Ohio program.

He added that the need has continued during the past 14 years.

“There’s all kind of needy people,” he said, praising volunteers and encouraging others with the skill and ability to devote some time to worthwhile projects.

“We need to keep up volunteering.”

Long time volunteers include Al Pack, Lynn Douglas, Rollie Woods, Bob Monko, Bob Willerton, Everet Barkowski, Tom Hauner, Dave Cannelle, John Sheeteski and Tammy McFadden.