Nutley RAKES returns later this month

The Township of Nutley’s Annual Department of Public Works’ RAKES (Random Acts of Kindness Extended to Seniors) Program, which partners with local volunteers to help clean and bag the leaves of senior and disabled citizens’ properties, returns for its 15th year later this month.

“The RAKES program is something we are very proud of,” Mayor Joseph P. Scarpelli said. “It exemplifies the dedication Nutley has to helping our senior and disabled residents.”

 During the last weekend of November, the RAKES program provides an alternative to seniors and those who are disabled and unable to rake their leaves. Residents seeking help must be over 60 and/or be disabled, own and live in the home requiring raking assistance and be unable to afford help.

The program will take place Friday, Nov. 25 and Saturday, Nov. 26. Businesses, churches, civic groups, schools and neighborhood organizations are encouraged to form volunteer teams to rake homes during the holiday weekend. The program also may be used by high school students to fulfill community service requirements for college entry.

“The idea for the program actually came about through Student Government Day,” the mayor said. “One of our students came up with the concept and I thought that it was great. That November, we initiated RAKES with the help of many community groups, including the Boys and Girls Scouts as well as the high school football team.

“It’s been very successful and rewarding. We actually have two college students who have been raking the same property since they were Girl Scouts. Now it’s like they are part of that family. We have an incredible volunteer spirit in Nutley and this is just one of many programs where our community steps up in a big way. It’s one of many things all of us can be thankful for during this time of year.”

Those eligible may contact Cheryl Gaccione at (973) 284-4958 or If your civic organization, Boy Scout Den, Girl Scout Troop, school organization or team would like to participate by volunteering to rake, contact the Department of Public Works at 973-284-4958.

 All applications should be submitted by Friday, Nov. 11.

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