Elks offering helping hand

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NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck Elks Lodge 967’s Senior Home Work Program is currently underway and the Elks are looking for people to help.

“The Elks are a community service organization. It’s one of our biggest programs,” said Elk Jim Desmarais about the program.

Elks are seeking senior citizens and disabled homeowners in need of some light maintenance to be done around the house.

Under the program, volunteers from the lodge will do some light yard and maintenance work for people 65 years old or older or disabled, free of charge. Among the chores volunteers will do is trim bushes, yard work, fix minor plumbing problems or clean gutters, as long as they are not too high, Desmarais said.

Aside from being a senior citizen or disabled, Desmarais said, the only other requirement to be eligible for the program is that people own their homes.

The program was started four years ago after the lodge received a $10,000 grant from the Elks National Fund, the charitable arm of the Elks, Desmarais said. At the time, he explained, members of the lodge approached then-mayor Michael Bronko about the availability of funding and asked what the town needed. After some discussion, it was decided to apply for funds to initiate the senior home work program, he said.

The program has been a popular one ever since.

Desmarais said the program allows people to stay in the homes a little longer and even saves them a little bit of money, which they can use to buy food and prescription medicine or simply to enjoy themselves.

The program will continue this year as long as the weather allows, he said.

For more information or to sign up for the program, call Naugatuck Elks Lodge 967 at (203) 729-7967 or Edna at (203) 723-8858.