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Normally in a courthouse, Johnson County employees spend part of day doing yard work instead

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OLATHE, Kan. — More than two dozen employees of the Johnson County District Court volunteered their time on Tuesday to clean up the yards of three homes in the area.

The homes are owned by Johnson County Developmental Support. It works with residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Court employees raked leaves, weeded the yards and essentially got the yards ready for the winter months.

Janel Bowers

“How do you rake leaves; how do you clean out a gutter? How do you paint a bathroom a different color? We need volunteers for all of this,” said Janel Bowers, Director of Development for Friends of JCDS Inc. “

She said with the help of volunteers from various businesses, clubs and organizations, they get it done without any cost to their donors.

Friends of JCDS Inc. will soon add another house, to total 12 houses it owns that have been renovated to rent to people with developmental disabilities striving to be independent.

“Where do you rent if you need to have a bathroom that you can get into in a wheelchair and move around?… We exist for those needs,” Bowers said.

This month was yard work month. Next month they’ll be painting parts of the homes.

Bowers said many of the residents aren’t able to do their own yard work or other household tasks because of their developmental delays.

“I think it’s overwhelming for them to even think about household stuff.  Because that’s probably not in their thought process. A lot of it is: I have to get up. I have to brush  my teeth. I have to get ready for work.  I have to go to work and do the following steps. That’s kind of the process,” Bowers said. “I think a lot of things are overwhelming.”

For more information, go to the Friends of JCDS Facebook page.