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(Sounds of many people talking)
The Springfield Expo Center was filled with hundreds of citizens in need and volunteers to assist them. It was the second year Jeff Attaway and Mary Lou Manning have gone to the HOPE Connection, showing up two hours early to avoid missing out on any of the offerings.
The two live off of Attaway’s disabled checks, and the little income he makes with a lawn care service two days a week. Manning said the money doesn’t go far.
“We’re not able to get the services that we need that we get here,” Manning said.
Their main goals of the day were to get eye exams, flu shots and haircuts. Both of them ended up needing glasses, and they got their shots in order to prevent any illness spreading to Manning’s two grandkids.
Standing in line, Manning pointed out all the volunteers with their brightly colored HOPE t-shirts.
“If we don’t have the volunteers, this place would really be a mess,” Manning said.
Many of the volunteers were able to receive a paid day off to help. But Sarah Shelburn, a guide at the event, said that’s not why they do it.
“It’s such a good feeling to help people who truly need it,” Shelburn said.
This is the fifth year for the HOPE connection event, and it supports about 500 citizens each time. Attaway said he will continue to go.
“It means, it means quite a bit. You get help,” Attaway said.
Click here for more information about HOPE Connection and The Community Partnership of the Ozarks.
For KSMU News, I’m Anna Thomas.