Wednesday was a day of caring for Clarke County’s Agnes Boggs. Although the 83 year-old widow had had plans to mow her yard, pick up the many fallen tree limbs that had accumulated over the summer and paint her porch, she also admitted that summer’s heat and humidity seemed to be taking more of a toll on her stamina this year than they did last year.
“Marie called last week and offered to bring some people here to clean my front steps, mow the lawn and pick-up the yard,” Boggs said earlier this week. “I had wanted to get out there and do it myself last week, but she told me to wait.”
Clarke County Rotary member Marie Murphy and eleven other Rotary members spent Wednesday cleaning, mowing and sprucing up for Boggs as part of the United Way National Day of Caring
“We had a very successful work party yesterday,” Murphy said at the end of the work day. “Mrs. Bogg’s house now looks wonderful thanks to 12 folks working for three hours with numerous chain saws, brooms, paint brushes, weed eaters, shovels and wheelbarrows”.
Earlier this week, thousands of volunteers across Virginia along with millions of people nationwide participated in what the United way says is the single-largest annual charitable service effort in the U.S. The goal of the annual September National Day of Service and Remembrance is to bring Americans together in the same spirit of compassion, unity, and service that existed after the 9/11 attacks. The Clarke County Rotary’s effort on behalf of Boggs was the local example of that outreach effort.
“I think that it’s just the most wonderful gift,” Boggs said.
Boggs and her late husband moved to Clarke County in 1980. After her husband passed away in 1988 Boggs continued to work in the kitchen at Rose Hill Nursing Home. She is also a member of Marvin Chapel and maintains an active circle of friends in Clarke County.
While the twelve volunteer laborers provided the goodwill and elbow grease necessary to help spruce up Boggs’s Clarke County home, Marie Murphy said that several local businesses also played an important role by donating materials.
“We’re very thankful to Nalls Farm Store, Berryville True Value, and Anderson’s Nursery for contributing equipment and supplies,” Murphy said.
“We donate to just about every not-for-profit cause in Clarke County,” said Nall’s Farm market David Nalls. “We have been very fortunate to have had this community’s support for the last 17 years. I feel strongly that small businesses need to give back so that’s what we are trying to do.”
“It’s great to live in a community where people give time and help to those who are less fortunate,” Nalls said.
Lee Bowen, owner of the True Value hardware store in Berryville echoes Nalls’s sentiments.
“We’re providing a rototiller and powerwasher for use by the volunteers,” Bowen said. “We’re also donating paint and some other items.”
“I think that this is a really worthwhile project,” Bowen said. “Helping people in need, helping people who are less fortunate – demonstrates that we live in a caring community and that is important to me.”
Bowen also owns the Front Royal True Value and has contributed similar support to volunteer efforts there.
Wednesday’s United Way work party included many people who already give tremendous amount their personal time to make Clarke County a great place to live. Dale Coumes, Jim Coumes, Ann Lesman, Lisa Cooke, Gerald Dodson, Clyde Lamond, Rieman Royston, Jim Wink, Chris Rosen, Dianne Lasky, Mike Murphy and Marie Murphy all joined together on Wednesday to touch Boggs’s life.
“I have a great life because I’m a Christian and I believe in the Lord,” Boggs said. “I see the Lord’s hand in this and that is very pleasing to me.”
Editor’s Note: A previous edition of this story cited Marie Murphy as Clarke County Rotary president. Murphy is actually the former president. Chris Rosen is the current president through July, 2013