Last updated: August 24. 2013 6:23AM - 14 Views

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LIMA — While she spent time and danced with senior citizens at the Allen County Council on Aging, one woman made sure to tell Jessica Kroehler just how much the visit meant to her.The experience showed the now Temple Christian High School senior what she’s always known: It feels good to help others.“It just made me feel really good,” she said of the experience at the Council on Aging. “It made me wish more people would get involved with something like that.”While the visit with the senior citizens was part of a class project, Kroehler has found many ways to volunteer and help her community on her own. She started volunteering at Heartbeat of Lima last summer and will return at the end of this school year. She helps sort clothes in the store and helps mothers select clothing. It’s had a profound impact.“Just hearing their stories and seeing how much that place impacts their lives,” she said. “It was definitely a new experience for me, to see the difficulties people are going through and how nice it is to be able to help them.”Through Lima Community Church of the Nazarene, Kroehler also helps out with Royal Family Kids Camp, a program for inner-city children. She helped with office work that year and plans to lend a hand again this summer.Kroehler is also involved with her church’s In Town Missions program, which offers home repairs and other assistance to people in need. She and her volleyball teammates have also raised money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.She does all this for one simple reason.“I enjoy helping people out,” she said. “It gives you a good feeling to know you are helping, just to see their faces.”Kroehler is very active at school, while also maintaining a 3.73 grade-point average. She plays the flute in the band, sings in the choir and is a past class officer. She’s on the varsity basketball and volleyball teams, was a member of the prom committee and has been a Homecoming attendant twice.Also recognized outside of her school, Kroehler took home second place this year in the Laws of Life Essay contest, and was a member of the 2006 Allen Lima Youth Leadership class.Kroehler will attend OSU-Lima next school year to major in elementary education. She hopes to get a job somewhere locally and continue her tradition of helping others.

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