Published October 28, 2019
Weather permitting, Ford County RSVP and the DC3 baseball team will again offer a Fall Clean-Up Day on Sunday, Nov. 10, for Dodge City area senior citizens who need help around the house.
Each year, the clean-up day assists 20-25 senior households with small projects, which include minor repair jobs, winterizing homes, exterior caulking, cleaning gutters, draining outside faucets, yardwork, trimming bushes, or even simple things like replacing light bulbs.
Originally known as Make a Difference Day, Fall Clean-Up Day began in 2005 during Phil Stephenson’s first semester as DC3 head baseball coach.
“This all started my first fall here,” Stephenson said. “I wanted to start something with the community to show that the baseball program was going to be involved.”
Stephenson said he wanted to find a way for the team to give back to the community, and he soon discovered that working with Ford County RSVP was a good way to do it.
The clean-up day brings a lot of joy to the seniors, he said. The baseball team is able to do jobs in a short amount of time that seniors would have needed days or weeks to accomplish on their own, if they were in fact able to do them at all.
“Our players benefit in seeing how much they can get done in a short amount of time working together,” he said. “This is their small way of giving back to the community while they are attending school here and playing baseball.”
Ford County RSVP director Crissa Salmans said she thinks the day is a great way to unite the community and to help the baseball players gain a sense of belonging in the community.
“The seniors really enjoy the interaction with the baseball team, and I think it also gives the out-of-town guys a chance to have a grandparent figure in their lives for a day,” Salmans said.
To be eligible for the program, seniors must be at least 55 years old or a military veteran of any age. All requests are subject to availability.
To get their names on the clean-up day list, seniors should call Ford County RSVP at (620) 227-7077, or they can visit the RSVP office, which is located in the basement of the Village Square Mall.
“We’ve already received several calls from seniors reserving their spots,” Salmans said. “They know it’s that time of year.”
By Lance Ziesch