The Intergenerational Cleanup weekend is made up by a group of organizations and volunteers that get together to clean up the Utica, Oneida, Rome and New Hartford areas. They include the Oneida County Youth Bureau, the Oneida County Office for the Aging and Continuing Care, Oneida County colleges, school districts and youth organizations. The volunteers especially help out with cleaning up the yards of senior citizens who are unable to physically cleanup their own yards, and sometimes are unable to financially afford to hire someone else to clean their yard for them. I got involved with the project through my teacher, Michael Romano, who is the director for the Oneida County Office for Aging & Continuing Care. (This is Amy and I finishing up a yard)
On Saturday morning I met up with a group of volunteers and we broke up into groups to go to the different elderly homes. I was grouped up with Tony Rashid who works at the Office for the Aging in Oneida County and with Amy Perry, who is a student at RFA. Then we all headed out to Rome for the three houses (yards) we were appointed with!
The experience was amazing. It was great seeing so many people out to help with such a great cause. It was also fun getting outside and meeting new people, while we were being rewarded with the happy faces of the appreciative elderly. The best part was when we were at our last house. We were finishing up raking up the leaves when a man came out, smiling with a cold Pepsi for each of us. He said “My mom lives here and I don’t have a lot of time to help her with her yard, it is such a great program, my mother and I are so grateful and I just can’t stress it enough”. It was really uplifting knowing that not only the elderly were appreciative, but also their families. (This was the result of one of the yards! I should have taken a before and after shot)
If you could not make it this year, be sure to make it to the 7th Annual Intergenerational Cleanup Days next fall and spring! For more information (and you can see a video!) go to http://ocgov.net/ofa