Selling labor to help charity

Chores: McDaniel College students will donate money from housekeeping to Shepherd's Staff.

October 22, 2004|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Among the many flea market vendors on the parking lot at Shepherd's Staff in Westminster tomorrow will be several McDaniel College students with nothing to sell but their labor.

About a dozen students have organized Chores for Charity and are offering their time and housekeeping talents for an hourly fee of $5. They plan to turn the fruits of their labor over to the ministry that serves the needy in Carroll County.

"We will be hiring ourselves out for a good cause," said Tiffany Mack, a junior from Baltimore. "I have a feeling I will be washing a lot of windows."

Keith Greenway, a sophomore from Pasadena, has had a taste of what lies ahead.

Kathy Brown, director of Shepherd's Staff, had him and several of his fraternity brothers sprucing up the charity's offices and help center last week. They are returning tomorrow, ready to sign up for job commitments they will fulfill next month.

"We will help set up the flea market, and then we will be selling our housekeeping," Greenway said. "I don't mind housework at all. My parents always made me do it."

Brown has enlisted several students for chores at her Westminster home, services for which, she said, she will gladly pay them.

"These kids are hiring themselves out for Shepherd's Staff," Brown said. "They are good at this work, too. I can't wait to see people's reactions. This is an idea many charities could capitalize on."

The students are among thousands participating in the annual Make a Difference Day, a nationwide movement sponsored by USA Weekend and the Points of Light Foundation that encourages neighbors to help one another.

Proceeds from the flea market, the students' efforts and food sales will go to the Shepherd's Staff prescription medicine fund, which helps the uninsured and underinsured pay for prescription medicines.

The charity, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, has seen an increased demand on its medicine fund. Some working people can't even make the co-payments for their medications, Brown said.

Commissioner Julia Walsh Gouge will make an official proclamation about making a difference and will donate several batches of her homemade fudge to the cause.

"Shepherd's Staff has done a good job over the years to meet the needs of the public," Gouge said. "They are always looking for ways to raise funds so they can meet the needs of the community."

Brown will also take time to honor the memory of Dennis M. Rosenbloom, a longtime volunteer who died this year. As the co-owner of Rexall Pharmacy, Rosenbloom was invaluable to the charity's prescription program, Brown said.

"He made a difference in the lives of so many," Brown said.

About 20 vendors have paid Shepherd's Staff $20 for each flea market space. The charity will be selling donated items, and members of the Gospel Spreading Church of God in Union Bridge will be serving lunch. Several nonprofit organizations will also be on hand with information about their community outreach efforts.

"This event will help us raise funds, and it will let the community know about our services," Brown said. "People can browse and buy, learn about other nonprofits, and have a great lunch."

The flea market runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow at 30 Carroll St., Westminster. Information: 410-857-5944.

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