Southfield is looking for volunteers to help in its annual Big Rake event, which assists seniors in raking leaves. Pictured, Claudia Stampa rakes leaves during the 2016 event.

Southfield is looking for volunteers to help in its annual Big Rake event, which assists seniors in raking leaves. Pictured, Claudia Stampa rakes leaves during the 2016 event.

File photo by Sean Work


Volunteers needed for Southfield’s Big Rake

By: Zachary Manning | Southfield Sun | Published November 10, 2020

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SOUTHFIELD — With leaves falling and temperatures dropping, Mayor Kenson Siver is looking for volunteers to help rake leaves throughout the city.

In partnership with the Southfield Home Depot, the Southfield Lowe’s and Great Lakes Ace Hardware of Southfield, Siver will host The Big Rake on Saturdays throughout the fall.

The Big Rake is organized by the mayor’s office to help senior adults or disabled Southfield residents with fall lawn maintenance

“I have had people call me that’ve had their yard raked, older people, and they’ve been in tears on the phone. They’re just so grateful,” Siver said.

Individuals interested in volunteering to rake should contact the mayor’s office at (248) 796-5100, or e-mail bastrop@cityofsouthfield.com or vperry@cityofsouthfield.com.

Senior or disabled residents who would like to sign up to get their leaves raked can contact the mayor’s office at (248) 796-5100.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, operation of the program will be limited and conducted with all recommended safety protocols. Households in the Chore program, which assists income-eligible seniors with home and yard maintenance, will be prioritized.

The program began Nov. 7, and volunteers will be raking leaves Nov. 14 and 21, and Dec. 5.

According to a press release, more than 350 volunteers helped to clear over 120 yards last fall.

“People are very appreciative,” Siver said. “We’re still looking for yards to rake. Saturday (Nov. 7), we had 110 volunteers out and did quite a few yards.”

Over the years, Lawrence Technological University students have played a vital role in helping during the Big Rake. Siver said the Big Rake wouldn’t be possible without LTU.

LTU Dean of Students Kevin Finn mentioned that a lot of athletes and sorority/fraternity members like to participate in the Big Rake because it gives them something to do outside of school, and they just want to help out.

“We just feel it’s a way to give back,” Finn said. “A lot of our students who come from other regions of the country or other countries in general aren’t used to having what we experience with the leaves falling, so they find that kind of interesting.”

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