Photo: A lot to be done during Belmont Serves
Belmont Serves has expanded the opportunities for residents to help their community.
Now in its 11th year, the annual volunteering event to make the town a better place for all will expand into two shifts: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and noon to 4 p.m. held on Monday, Oct. 14, the Columbus Day holiday.
The event is piloting a second shift after hearing from some residents that mornings are filled with family responsibilities, said Jennifer Hoyda, president of the Belmont Religious Council which sponsors the event.
Individuals and families will be able to select a project at the start of the day, complete the entire project, “and then come together for some pizza and ice cream to celebrate a job well done,” she told the Belmont Select Board on Monday, Oct. 7 which endorsed this year’s day of giving.
“What’s really special about this day is it’s super family-friendly so young kids can sort food or do some gardening work,” she said.
The event will be headquartered at First Church Unitarian Universalist, 404 Concord Ave. Typically between 200 to 300 residents will participate with middle and high schoolers receiving community service hours, said Hoyda.
Individuals and families will be able to select a project at the start of the day, complete the entire project in one morning of work, and then come together for some pizza and ice cream.
For all projects (including advance distribution of grocery bags), residents should use the on-line registration form to register and select a preferred project.
This year the sponsors will be distributing 7,000 brown paper bags to households around town to fill with groceries and sundries for the Belmont Food Pantry.
“You can help make a real difference in our town, have some fun, and meet others who share a willingness to serve the community,”
This year’s projects are still being finalized, but will likely include:
- Door-to-door food drive for the Food Pantry
- Conservation projects at town properties like Rock Meadow and Lone Tree Hill on former McLean property.
- Clay Pit Pond clean-up and improvements
- Elementary School gardening projects
More projects will be added, and are suitable for a wide range of ages and skill levels.
- 8:30 am – All volunteers sign-in at First Church UU and enjoy some light breakfast. (Donations to cover food costs are appreciated.)
- 9:00 am – Service projects begin
- noon – Service projects end, return to First Church UU for pizza and ice cream celebration.
- 1:00 p.m. – AfternoonService projects begin; once completed, you can head directly home.
Door-to-door collection for the Food Pantry— Teams of volunteers will be assigned to specific routes, collecting bags of groceries left at doorsteps for delivery to the Food Pantry. These grocery bags are distributed door-to-door throughout the town during the week before Belmont Serves day. This project in the past has yielded between 1,500-2,000 of groceries. This year we hope to do even better!
Conservation projects at town properties like Rock Meadow and Lone Tree Hill (former McLean property): Volunteers will help clean trails and brush. Dress accordingly and bring gloves, rakes and shovels with your name on them if you have them.
Claypit Pond clean-up: Volunteers will work on pruning existing shrubs, cutting/removing invasives, and picking up trash and debris.
Elementary School grounds: Help with gardening, and distributing wood chips in garden areas. If you can bring shovels and gardening tools, that would be helpful. Be sure to put your name on the tools you bring.Sign up today!
WHAT TO WEAR: Clothing suitable for outdoor activities. Wear long pants and long-sleeve shirts, with jackets and/or sweatshirts if it gets cold. On the conservation and planting/weeding projects, expect to get dirty and possibly encounter poison ivy. On the painting project, you will most likely get paint on your clothes, so dress appropriately.
WHAT TO BRING: A refillable water bottle. Work gloves (for all outdoor work projects).
We need a few metal rakes, pruning shears, loppers (including those with extendable arms, for cutting off high branches), shovels and gardening trowels. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO PUT YOUR NAME ON ANY TOOLS THAT YOU BRING.