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Helpful hands

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A Colorado organization provides lawn care for those in need.

Timescall.com | July 20, 2011

Before she began using a free yardwork service from CareConnect, Sheri Collard relied on helpful neighbors and friends to keep her modest home in south Longmont tidy.

The 36-year-old Longmont woman said she struggles to push a lawn mower or hold a weed whacker because of nerve and soft tissue damage in her right wrist caused by a triangular fibrocartilage complex tear in 2008.

Collard said she looked at paying a service to mow her lawn but said the cheapest one she found charged $30 per visit.

"Being on a fixed income, I don't know how I'd be able to handle that," said Collard, who receives federal Supplemental Security Income because of her wrist.

And that's why Collard said she's thrilled with YardBusters, the newest program from CareConnect, a nonprofit that offers safety net services for seniors and adults with disabilities in Boulder County.

After completing a successful pilot program last summer and securing a $15,000 federal grant through Boulder County Aging Services, CareConnect began offering the free service earlier this month.

Program coordinator Rebecca Yenney, 25, is currently assembling volunteers to mow lawns, pull weeds, remove small limbs and help with other yardwork for seniors and adults with disabilities.

So far, she said about four folks are on the roster, including 27-year-old Boulder resident Aaron Fields, who worked up a sweat mowing Collard's front yard Monday morning. Fields works in CareConnect's Fix-It program, which helps with minor home repairs, and jumped at the chance to volunteer for another of the agency's programs.

For the rest of the story, click here.

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