Mike McKibbin

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September 12, 2012
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Neighbors help neighbor in need

Nanette LeBorgne said she loves yard work and painting, and that's just what she did Sunday. For someone she didn't know, too.

LeBorgne, several of her co-workers at Alpine Bank, and other community residents volunteered for a cleanup and house painting project organized by The ROC, or Reach-Out Colorado, center in Rifle.

The center promotes community-building through working together to help each other, according to its website, reach-out-colorado.org.

Center Director Dave Bottroff said when he went to Alpine Bank to make an initial deposit of $300 to help establish the center earlier this year, he learned of their community volunteer program.

"Anne (Kellerby, another project volunteer) said if I ever needed volunteers, they'd come out and they did," Bottroff said.

"I just love yard work and I love painting, so this was perfect," said LeBorgne.

The house that benefited from the volunteers' hard work is owned by Carol Alvey at 210 E. First St.

"This is really wonderful," Alvey said inside her home. "This place really needed some help and I'm all alone here, except for my daughter-in-law."

Alvey said she had lived in the home, built in 1913 and handed down to her by her family, for 10 years and in Rifle since 1974.

The 70-year-old was recently diagnosed with severe macular degeneration and had to retire from her job at the Crossroads Assisted Living facility in Rifle.

"I never thought I'd be so dependent on other people," Alvey said with a hitch in her voice. "I never thought I'd have to retire so early."

Alvey's daughter-in-law saw Bottroff appear before the Rifle City Council on the city's cable TV community access channel 10 and arranged for the cleanup project, Bottroff said.

"I think when word gets out more and more, we'll get more volunteers and be able to do more," he added.

The center held a volunteer fair at the Rifle Branch Library on Tuesday to get people signed up for other house cleaning and similar projects. A key effort is a Totes of Hope program, which will provide bags of donated food to students in Garfield School District Re-2 who don't get enough food at home over the three-day weekends now the norm in the district with the switch to a four-day school week.

"We'd also like to set up a 'senior team,' to find out what the needs are of senior citizens like Carol, who don't have the help they need," Bottroff added.

Alvey added she hoped the ROC center was successful in their efforts.

"They really need the help, too," she said.

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The Post Independent Updated Sep 12, 2012 05:28PM Published Sep 12, 2012 05:21PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.