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Making Cincinnati Life Better

Volunteers improve communities in Buckeye State

Craiglow said Home Depot gave AARP a deal, which allowed the project's budget to stretch further.

The Walnut Hills garden, occupying two city lots, features 24 well-tended raised beds brimming with herbs, flowers and vegetables. In addition, there are several plots set aside as a children's garden, visited once a week by kids from the Cincinnati Early Learning Center next door.

Joan Shore, 63, lives about three miles away and visited the garden for the first time on the AARP volunteer day.

"I was shocked to see how well organized it is and the size of it in a city like this."

Shore, a University Hospital retiree, has volunteered in the past for various organizations but recently had not found anything of interest. AARP's appeal changed that.

Shore's first visit to the garden turned into several more during the growing season. "The call of the garden. I can't resist."

Dayton volunteer fair Sept. 21

Craiglow said more than 40 project ideas were submitted to AARP Ohio under the initiative. By early summer, AARP Ohio had settled on four and was considering two or three others.

One of the projects, a Volunteer Fair in Dayton, is 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Presidential Banquet Center in Kettering.

Prospective volunteers will have an opportunity to meet with representatives of organizations that need help, said Ed Cokley, 60, a Dayton-area AARP advocacy volunteer.

Habitat for Humanity, the Dayton Long Term Care Ombudsman's office and AARP are among the organizations that will have representatives on hand to discuss volunteering opportunities, Cokley said.

You may also like: Gardening with the generations. >>

Vince McKelvey is a writer living in New Lebanon, Ohio.

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