Takoma Residents Get Free Help Shoveling Snow from Difference Makers (PHOTOS & VIDEO)

Snow days has some kids hitting the hills, or sleeping in, but for a group of Takoma Park Middle School students it’s a chance to help someone in their own community.

They are called Difference Makers and for the 37 residents who signed up for their help this winter they truly are.

PEG partner Takoma Park  City TV has the report.

The City’s Lifelong Takoma Program and the Difference Maker’s student volunteers club have joined together in this new free program to help residents who are physically unable to remove snow from their steps, walkways and sidewalks.

“These people may not have other recourse to clear entrance to their homes. They would be stuck or they would be waiting on it for the sun to come out and melt it. The difference  they are making is real and tangible,” said Karen Maricheau, Lifelong Takoma Program manager.

The club has been in existence about five years. This is the first year the group partnered with Lifelong Takoma. So far the kids have shoveled three times this winter, and each time nearly 20 of them show up to do the work.

“They haven’t let me down yet. I am amazed first of all that they come out on the days because most of them are snow days, yet they come out and help out and they say they would rather be doing this,” said Bryan Goehring, science teacher, and club sponsor at the school.

Goehring said the club’s goal is for students to develop citizenship and leadership skills. They earn Student Service Learning hours for their work.

The program’s pilot has been so successful that Maricheau said she had to stop accepting new requests but said she’ll start enrollment earlier next winter. And Maricheau said she hopes to encourage other young volunteers to join the program next year.

“I don’t think the need is going to go away,” she said. “It has been well-received and I think the students are learning that they are making a differnce in the lives of residents. The snow removal is practical but on a side note it is a great tool to promote inter generational connectivity.”

For more information on the program contact:  lifelong@takomaparkmd.gov or call 301.891.7232 and leave a recorded message.

Donations are not required nor asked for. If you’d like to provide a donation please contact:

Lifelong Takoma Program
7500 Maple Ave, 3rd Floor
Takoma Park, MD 20912

Donations will be used to fund this and other community service projects.

Visit Takoma Park City TV to see more Takoma Park City Television.

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Krista Brick

About Krista Brick

Krista Brick is a multi-media journalist with Montgomery Community Media.


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