When Helen McVicker got the call that a group of teenagers from Augusta Preparatory Day School wanted to volunteer through her organization, she jumped at the chance. When Help Can’t Wait is an all-volunteer agency, and there were some things that some of the home’s older volunteers just couldn’t do.
“Everything we do is on a volunteer basis,” said McVicker, founder and president of When Help Can’t Wait, a Martinez organization that provides quality-of-life items to area nursing-home residents. “All of our volunteers are older. We are no longer able to bend over and pot plants. They were able to do what we couldn’t.”
The students, along with a faculty supervisor, spent the morning at a Dean’s Bridge Road nursing home sprucing up a patio area, building a bench and potting flowers in planters.
“The students enjoyed the work and left with a sense of satisfaction,” said Augusta Prep teacher Russ Hovater, coordinator of the upper school retreat group.
The group has a service theme and volunteers at the Golden Harvest Food Bank, Master’s Table, Salvation Army, Jessye Normal School for the Arts and Columbia County Cares.
When they learned that there was no work for their group at Columbia County Cares, they were encouraged to call McVicker at When Help Can’t Wait.
The students helped construct a pergola for the nursing home residents and put together a new seating bench for the outside patio.
In addition, they planted about a dozen containers with plants donated by Lowes.
“They were a fun bunch of kids,” said McVicker, adding that residents have already enjoyed a barbecue and ice cream social on the new patio.
McVicker said that because When Help Can’t Wait is an all-volunteer organization, they rely on volunteers like those who came from Augusta Prep.
In fact, no one receives a salary and they are always in need of monetary donations to help cover rent and utility expenses.
Anyone who wants to volunteer can do so by calling the WHCW office at (706) 855-0715 or visiting the Web site – www.whenhelpcantwait.com. Monetary donations can also be made online using the secure Paypal link.