Nutley's RAKES Program Returns for 15th Year

The Township of Nutley’s Annual Department of Public Works’ RAKES (Random Acts of Kindness Extended to Seniors) Program, which partners with local volunteers to help clean and bag the leaves of senior and disabled citizens’ properties, will return for its 15th year this month.

“The RAKES Program is something we are very proud of,” says Mayor Dr. Joseph P. Scarpelli. “It exemplifies the dedication Nutley has to helping our senior and disabled residents.”

During the last weekend of November, the RAKES program provides an alternative to seniors and those who are disabled and unable to rake their leaves. Residents seeking help must be over 60 and/or be disabled, own and live in the home requiring raking assistance, and be unable to afford help.

The program will take place Friday, November 25 and Saturday, November 26. Businesses, churches, civic groups, schools and neighborhood organizations are encouraged to form volunteer teams to rake homes during the holiday weekend. The program also may be used by high school students to fulfill their community service commitment for college entry.

“The idea for the program actually came about through Student Government Day,” the Mayor adds. “One of our students came up with the concept and I thought that it was great. That November, we initiated RAKES with the help of many community groups, including the Boys and Girls Scouts as well as the high school football team.

“It’s been very successful and rewarding. We actually have two college students who have been raking the same property since they were Girl Scouts. Now it’s like they are part of that family. We have an incredible volunteer spirit in Nutley and this is just one of many programs where our community steps up in a big way. It’s one of many things all of us can be thankful for during this time of year.”

Those who are eligible and could benefit from assistance can contact Cheryl Gaccione at 973-284-4958 or via email at If your civic organization, Boy Scout Den, Girl Scout Troop, school organization or team would like to participate by volunteering to rake, please contact the Department of Public Works at 973-284-4958.

All applications should be submitted by Friday, Nov. 11.

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