Sixth Annual Belmont Serves Happens This Coming Columbus Day

How can you make a real difference in Belmont, and still have lots of fun?

Hundreds of Belmont residents, of all ages, will join together on Monday, Oct. 8, Columbus Day, for the sixth annual Belmont Serves Day of Community Service.

“Belmont is community that values service to others. With a wide variety of projects for all ages and skill levels, Belmont Serves is both festive and the largest town-wide service project of the year,” said John Robotham of the Belmont Religious Council, which sponsors Belmont Serves.

All are invited to gather at St. Joseph’s Parish Hall (corner of Common and School streets) at 8:15 a.m. to register, have a light breakfast, and select a project.

After a brief orientation, projects teams begin their work at locations all over the town. Everyone returns at 12:30 p.m. for an ice cream celebration. The event concludes at 1 p.m., so volunteers can enjoy their afternoon time with friends and family.

Rev. Joe Zarro, pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church and vice president of the Belmont Religious Council, is excited about his first Belmont Serves Day:

“As a new resident of Belmont I’m grateful for this kind of community organizing, and Plymouth is thrilled to have an opportunity to serve in an interfaith, town-wide setting,” he said.

Doug John, president of the Belmont Religious Council explains why he looks forward every year to Belmont Serves:

“I like getting to make connections with fellow Belmontians of other faiths while doing worthwhile service within our community. I believe building a stronger sense of community cooperation is important for our town. “

The Belmont Food Pantry relies on Belmont Serves to completely restock their supplies for the fall. More than 2,000 bags of groceries were collected door-to-door at last year’s event.

In addition to the food drive, there will be conservation projects at Rock Meadow, Claypit Pond and Lone Tree Hill, as well as painting the ticket booths at Harris Field on Concord Avenue. There will also be an Eagle Scout project at the Mary Lee Burbank Elementary School. The project will clean and prepare an area of the Burbank School grounds for a second service date that will plant bushes and flowers that can grow and thrive in this shady area. Walker Thomas, the aspiring Eagle Scout, and his scout leaders will lead this project .

Belmont Serves has become a town tradition, with enthusiastic endorsements from the Board of Selectmen, Belmont School Department, and other community organizations.  While the event is free and open to all, a suggested donation of $5 per adult will help defray the costs of food and related items.  Community service hours can be earned by middle and high school students through this event. Additional information and on-line registration are available at the Belmont Serves web site.

How to donate to the Belmont Food Pantry on Belmont Serves Day

Teams of volunteers will be distributing grocery bags door-to-door with instructions. Just fill up your bag with non-perishable items (canned goods, paper items, toiletries), and leave it on your doorstep Monday morning, October 8, before 9:00 am.  Donations can also be taken directly to the Food Pantry on Monday morning, at its new location in the modular building behind Belmont High School.

If you would like to help distribute grocery bags before Belmont Serves day, you can volunteer when you register on-line.

What should I wear and bring?

Please wear cloths suitable for outdoor activities (long pants, long-sleeve shirts, jackets if needed). For conservation and painting projects, plan on getting dirt or paint stains! Bring a refillable water bottle – we will provide fresh water refills, but not plastic water bottles. Bring work gloves for all outdoor work projects, and optionally bring rakes, pruning sheers, loppers, and shovels if you have them. Please put your name on any tools you bring and take them home!

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