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Thursday, July 14, 2011 11:58 am

GARDEN HELPERS

The broiling heat of summer couldn’t melt the spirits of about 16 teens volunteering their time at the community garden in the state fairgrounds on Tuesday. The high school-aged youth mulched, weeded and cleaned several gardens inside the horse racing track this week, having a bit of fun as they worked. They are spending their summer with the American Jewish Society for Service, which “combines volunteering with community-building and living and learning together as a Jewish community,” according to program director Shoshana Brownstein. The group hails from New York, New Jersey, Ohio, California, Boston, Washington, D.C., and even Toronto, Canada, and they’ll be in Springfield a total of six weeks. They’ve also volunteered their time at Habitat for Humanity, St. John’s Breadline, Kumler Ministries, the Boys and Girls Club, the United Cerebral Palsy camp, Mercy Communities, and United Way, with further plans to work with Sojourn Shelter, Helping Hands homeless shelter, the Central Illinois Food Bank, and the Salvation Army. For more information on American Jewish Society for Service, visit www.ajss.org.
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