Maintaining a home is not easy, believe me I know. Every fall I spend hours raking leaves, a task that makes my back ache for days afterwards. I like to exercise, so I tell myself it is good for me. But in reality, I have become resentful of having to put my energy into a chore instead of taking a bike ride on a beautiful fall day. If I could get some help from a team of volunteers, I would eagerly do so. 

If you or your neighbor is an older adult (or an adult with disabilities), who lives in Washington County, Community Thread can arrange for free raking provided by teams of volunteers. Every October, Community Thread organizes Rake a Difference Day where eligible homeowners in need of yard raking can apply to have a team of volunteers give them a hand.

Rake a Difference Day helps older adults and adults with disabilities live independently while allowing volunteer groups to make a difference in the lives of local community members. As a homeowner who benefitted from this service last year commented, “It took a load of care off my mind while making a difference in my ability to stay in my home.”

Volunteers benefit as well, especially if young people are given the experience of giving back. As shared after last year’s event by a volunteer “It was a great way to show my grandchildren they could have an impact on another person’s life.  At the end of the day, they felt good about themselves helping someone else.”

This simple act of kindness creates a culture of civic engagement while helping older and disabled adults experience a sense of belonging. And with a sense of belonging, community is built. Last year, 47 homeowners benefitted from this service.

Thanks to generous community volunteers, Community Thread is offering its annual Rake a Difference Day on Saturday, October 26 from 9 am until noon. Through this service initiative, volunteers are matched to adults age 55+ and adults with disabilities who need help with yard raking. Volunteer groups typically include families, scout troops, service clubs, school groups and businesses.

This year, we have plenty of volunteers and we are seeking homeowners, including in south Washington County. If you would like volunteer assistance to rake your yard, please call Community Thread at 651-439-7434. Applications will be accepted until Friday, October 4.

By: Sally Anderson