Community activist Gary Dolloff, left, oversees volunteers Friday morning as they load furniture into a truck for an elderly couple moving from Rumford to New Hampshire. The couple reached out to town officials for help and their request was passed to Dolloff. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

RUMFORD — Bruce Grant, a retired disabled veteran, and his wife, Pam, got their request for help to load their belongings into a moving truck Friday morning when volunteers showed up at their apartment on Penobscot Street.

The elderly couple had packed up as much as they could, but loading furniture and other items into a U-Haul truck was too much. They called town officials who passed their request to community activist Gary Dolloff.

Dolloff took up the cause, organizing about 15 volunteers, including eight students in the fire science program at Region 9 School of Applied Technology in Mexico. He thanked their teacher, Jon Longley, and said he was “very proud of all those kids.”

“Wow is all I can say,” Dolloff wrote on Facebook. “We got that older couple moved out. What a great community. These people had no help at all and this community stepped up big.”

“This is fantastic,” Bruce Grant said. “I’m trying to help as much as possible. It’s horrible to be old,” he said, as he helped fill boxes until he was exhausted and had to sit down.

“They’re great,” his wife said, adding she hopes they see the same kind of community support from their new home in neighboring New Hampshire.

Dolloff said it’s “very sad when older people do not have people to help them. Makes me love my family and friends so much more.”

Pam and Bruce Grant pack up belongings in their apartment on Penobscot Street in Rumford on Friday morning. The couple asked for help to load a large truck for their move to New Hampshire and 15 volunteers showed up to answer their request. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

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