Volunteers Brave The Freezing Temperatures - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Volunteers Brave The Freezing Temperatures

Posted: Updated:

By: Claire Powell
cpowell@myabc5.com
@clairenpowell

 

Jolly Holiday Lights displays were being taken down and put away by groups of volunteers. However, the bitter temperatures and icy winds made their jobs difficult.

Volunteers were trying anything from layers of clothing to face masks to try and stay warm.

"We're out here braving the elements," said Patrick Wells, a volunteer.

"Well it's cold, but it feels good to help," said another volunteer.

They were wrapping cables, checking lights, and taking down 90 light displays.

"We're really lucky we have core volunteers that rain, shine, 50 below or not, they're out here, which is amazing," said Ashley Dockendorf, Community Alliance.

The winter storm hitting the east coast delayed moving trucks that were supposed to pick up the lights and displays. Now the New York company won't be able to pick them up until next Saturday.

Meanwhile, the frigid Iowa weather is trying its' best to slow them down and halt the process.

"We're digging through snow to pull the stakes out.  The weather and the cold have really made it tough on us this year to get everything tore down," said Dockendorf.

The cold was making it hard for people to move and grasp.

"Your fingers don't work, you have to take your gloves off and on and just getting the things out of the ground when it's so rock hard frozen," said Dockendorf.

For volunteers, it's a way to give back to the community even if it means numb fingers and rosy cheeks.

"For as long as I can remember we have always been a part of this. We're always happy to help the community anyway we can, even when its 5 degrees," said Wells.

Dockendorf added that they always need extra volunteers, especially Sunday as they make one last attempt to get everything down before Monday's blast of arctic air. 

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