New Crothersville Cares group helps town resident



Joetta Dugan estimated it would have taken her a year to clean up the landscaping around her Crothersville home.

That is if she had to do it herself.

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On Thursday, though, she had a little help from her new friends.

Crothersville Town Councilwoman Katie Masters was joined by Crothersville Utilities employees Mason Boicourt, Mike Deaton, Chris Mains and Roger Jewell and town resident Rocky Huffine for the first Crothersville Cares project.

In just a matter of hours, they cleared ivy from landscaping, removed leaves and debris from the roof and guttering and picked up tree branches.

Masters, who also serves on the town’s safety board, proposed the idea of Crothersville Cares during the September council meeting. People could submit the name and address of residents they thought could use some help cleaning up or improving their property.

Dugan said she didn’t know anything about the program until Clerk-Treasurer Staci Peters recently stopped by and told her a crew would be there to assist.

“I am just so appreciative,” Dugan said. “I’ve only lived here about five years, and it has even been hard to find people that you can hire to do stuff. There’s a lot of stuff I can’t do, and this is awesome. It’s a wonderful community. It really is.”

Masters said the creation of Crothersville Cares was a group effort among the council members.

Since Jackson County United Way’s Day of Caring was moved from May to September because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of volunteers and projects was down. That resulted in no work being done in Crothersville.

Crothersville Cares fills that void.

“We understand that COVID was rough on everyone,” Masters said. “United Way, they usually come out and help, and I know a lot of people look forward to that. We can’t blame anybody but COVID. It hurt a lot of people with working.”

She said a handful of addresses were submitted, and a drawing was conducted to choose where to work. Dugan was the lucky one chosen.

“It’s the least we can do for the community,” Masters said. “We come together for so much stuff. It’s a good cause. It’s something that we know our community can do and that we will do.”

Before Thursday, Masters said she didn’t know Dugan, so it was nice to meet and help someone new.

“She’s as sweet as can be,” Master said of Dugan. “Whether I know them or not, when they come and ask for help, I’ll help.”

Deaton, the town’s street superintendent, said he was glad to help Dugan, too.

“Just being a part of the community that helps out, if everybody gives a little, it goes a long way,” he said.

For Jewell, a skilled worker for the town, it was a good way to break away from the day-to-day routine.

“I think it shows that people in the world still have compassion and still care,” he said. “The world needs a lot more of that.”

Mains, the town’s water superintendent, said the town employees are sometimes associated with utility bills and issues, so by doing a good deed, maybe that could change.

“For the most part, people in this town treat us really well, but we’re associated with utility bills and stuff, so being able to give back a little bit, I think that helps a little bit,” he said. “It’s not uncommon for somebody to say, ‘Hey, can you help with this?’ or ‘Can I borrow this?’ It’s just good stewardship. We try to do what we can when we can.”

Boicourt, the sewer superintendent, echoed those thoughts.

“We don’t always get to do stuff for people in town, but there are a lot of older people in this town that would really appreciate stuff like that,” he said. “We try to do stuff like this throughout the year if we can. If it’s within our means, we’ll try to do it.”

Huffine has lived in Crothersville for 14 years, and being retired allowed him to help Thursday.

“I think it’s nice that people can come out and help people that can’t do some things on their own that need the extra help,” he said.

Other residents said they could have helped if the work day would have been on a Saturday, so the group will keep that in mind when they do another project in the spring.

“If you want to be a part of the community, you can help out,” Masters said. “You don’t even have to be a part of the community. If you just want to help, you can.”

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