Joined: Mar 17, 2005
Location: Staten Island
|Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:17 pm Post subject: SNOW SHOVELING FOR SENIORS
From Wed Feb 14, 2007 2:00 am to Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:59 am (included)
|As we had our first storm of the seniors our student volunteers were out once again in full force 525 strong
Thatís the good news.
The bad news is that we have over 1,500 other Staten Island Seniors who we could not accommodate.
Over the past 2 days as the snow was predicted we had over 75 new seniors call to request volunteers.
Over fifty called today alone thinking that we had shovelers on demand.
It breaks our hearts as we have to explain that all of our volunteers are assigned already and the best we could do is put their names in our database and hopefully recruit new volunteers.
Many of these seniors are recovering from surgeries or have just lost a spouse or are disabled and we have to turn them down.
You also hear the same stories.
ďMy neighbor has a snow blower but just does up to his property lineĒ
ďThe last time it snowed it cost me $50Ē
Itís really a shame considering we probably have a pool of over 15,000 potential student volunteers and we can only get 525 to volunteer. Thatís less then 4%
Donít get me wrong. I really appreciate those who volunteer as well as their parents but you see the same names every year.
When a volunteer graduates and goes off to college a younger brother or sister steps in.
And you should hear the seniors when they call to compliment the students. They are so grateful.
This is not a perfect program we get our calls from seniors when students do not show up but they usually make up a very small percentage of the volunteers.
We also have to deal with some angry callers who do not understand why we cannot get a volunteer for them or their mother or father.
We even had one call where a woman said well this program doesnít work (because we could not get a volunteer for her mother) and that we should shut down the program because it doesnít work.
Well we are not going to shut down we will keep on trying to recruit more volunteers.
We have had a parish in Brooklyn ask us to help them set up a program for their seniors.
We have also been contacted by the Sanitation Department as someone in City Hall wanted to know why this program only exists on Staten Island.
We also now have 311 referring seniors to us.
We are looking for ways to improve the program.
We have asked for some corporate sponsorship so that we could offer prizes to the schools that provide the most volunteers but have not had any takers.
We have also contacted the Mayor to see if we could get some assistance but have not heard back. With some support we could help expand this to other boroughs.
For now we will just keep plugging along one senior at a time.