Cleaning out the closet

For many teens, summer flies by in a haze of lazy days spent on couches and in front of computers. But that was not the case for two local teens who will enter their freshman year of high school with an entire summer of volunteering activities under their belts.

EVE, Inc. got a helping hand this summer from 14-year-olds Josh Carroll, of Fleming, and Eden Wisenburg, of Marietta. The teen volunteers got involved with the organization through their respective parents, who work at EVE providing services and shelter to victims of domestic violence.

“My mom wanted some help around here. That’s how it got started and I just kept coming in,” said Carroll, who has volunteered most working days this summer.

Carroll’s mother, Suzan Carroll-Decker, said she has seen her son grow a lot over the summer.

“It teaches them responsibility and what we’re all about here at EVE. Josh has never seen domestic violence before. This shows him there’s a whole different side of the world and he should be kind to people who may not be as fortunate as he is,” said Carroll-Decker.

This summer was not Wisenburg’s first experience at the shelter. Always sharing a interest in social work, Eden has been helping with odd jobs at the shelter since she was 10, said her father, Shane Wisenburg, the shelter’s coordinator.

“(Social work) has always been something that intrigued her. She has a big heart and she loves to help,” said Shane.

Her time with EVE includes a lot of organizing and some clerical work, said Eden.

“I write thank you letters, which is pretty fun,” she said.

Josh added that he is happy to do whatever odd jobs he can.

“(I do) just about everything. I clean up rooms, take out the trash, sweep the floors, do different things like that. It gives them more time to work with their clients,” he said.

Josh said he has also become friends with the staff at EVE.

One big project the 14-year-old tackled this summer was organizing a closet that was practically unusable before they spent hours fixing it, said Suzan.

“It was stacked to the ceiling. It took a while to get in there,” said Josh of the blankets and donations in the room.

It was nearly impossible to get more than a foot in the door, added Suzan.

“They spent hours up here organizing it. I just can’t believe the work they’ve done,” she said.

Now important supplies like diapers, baby bottles, and blankets are easy to access when needed, a big time saver.

Josh said the summer has taught him to work well with different people and to treat everyone with respect.

“I just like that I can give back to people because they need us,” added Eden.