The Ottumwa Courier

April 22, 2013

Community Day brings helping hands together

By CINDY TOOPES Courier staff writer
Ottumwa Courier

---- — OTTUMWA — Marie Zoromski is with United Way, the nonprofit that oversees Community Day. She was pleased with the several nonprofit organizations that filled Quincy Place Mall Saturday.

"These are all nonprofit organizations," Zoromski said Saturday. Quincy Place Mall also supports Community Day.

United Way members handled registration and the mall staff helped, too.

"United Way facilitates Community Day," Zoromski said. "There is a lot of hunger in Wapello County, and we're launching our Square for Hunger."

United Way handed out starter kits for tomato plants. Zoromski said the "food insecurity" in Wapello County is estimated at 5,200. That means about 24.1 percent of the citizens includes 1,900 children.

Recently, United Way of Wapello County members discussed different avenues to sprouting community gardens throughout the city.

Zoromski said the efforts are "small strides," but the nonprofits all do a great job.

She also said Legal Aid helps people stay in their own home. The nonprofit also helps citizens with insurance issues, civil cases and represents other vulnerable populations.

Four-legged "residents" need help, too. At the Heartland Humane Society's booth, several four-legged friends watched all the people go by.

One young couple adopted two puppies nine years ago. Belinda and Andrew Smith-Cicarella now have two 9-year-old dogs. During that time, Andrew had to go overseas and didn't see his pets for a long time. On Saturday, "Sugar" and "Bear" enjoyed watching all the humans go by inside Quincy Place Mall.

Some of Heartland Humane Society members said they do kids' birthday parties, and the children were encouraged to bring toy and food items for the dogs. They also said anyone could go to Heartland Humane Society and walk the dogs, but they should call the society first.

At the Ottumwa Noon Lions Club's booth, Courtney and Austin Jones, both members, handed out first-aid kits, including a home kit. Courtney said the Noon Lions also sponsor other events, such as sending a child to diabetes camp.

"One of the different things the Lions do through the YMCA is to collect old eyeglasses," Courtney Jones said.

She noted women can also be a member of the Ottumwa Noon Lions Club.

"We meet at noon Wednesdays at Second Street Cafe and have a meal and then listen to guest speakers," Austin said.

Both Austin and Courtney said the Noon Lions support Community Day.

"The Lions are here every year," they said.

Some of the other nonprofits that participated in Community Day included Southern Mental Health, Salvation Army and HC1 Care Services.