Shovel Out Seniors effort gears up for winter storms

NUTLEY, NJ — Nutley is once again offering a program to help senior citizens in the winter months.
The program, called SOS — Shovel Out Seniors — networks students from Nutley High School and John Walker Middle School who are willing to shovel snow for a nominal fee or for community-service hours.

“I believe this program has provided a much needed service to our township’s senior citizens and at the same time has encouraged positive interactions between the youth and the seniors in our community,” said Nutley Mayor Alphonse Petracco, director of the Department of Public Safety, which presents the program.

Senior Citizens who are interested must call the Department of Public Safety at 973-284-4940, ext. 2155, to register. A student in their area will be assigned to them and will be sent out to shovel once a call is received by the Department of Public Safety.

Seniors must call in after each snowstorm to request the shoveling services. This call helps prevent a student from going to a home that has already been shoveled. Once the senior and student are matched, the seniors can explain the area they wish to have shoveled and can negotiate a price with the student. The program is designed for those seniors who are without family members or neighbors to help them.

Students interested in the program must register with Melissa Brady at Nutley High School or with Joe Cappello at John Walker Middle School. Students will be required to have a permission slip signed by a parent in order to participate in the program. The students can work alone or work in teams of two or more and will be assigned homes in their neighborhoods. In regard to safety, no student is allowed to enter a home and if a situation makes a student uncomfortable, the student is to contact the Department of Public Safety immediately.

Strict guidelines must be followed to ensure the safety of the students and the seniors. Some students may choose to volunteer their time for community services hours required for CCD or Scout badges. This can be arranged through the Department of Public Safety.

The program will be based on a first-come, first-served basis. Call Adam Jernick 973-284-4940, ext. 2155, at the Department of Public Safety to register or for further information.

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