Sault College and the United Way of Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma District partnered up again for the ninth annual Trades Day of Caring event on Saturday.
Trades Day of Caring is a one-day event where students from the skilled trades classes at Sault College volunteer their time to help seniors around the city winterize their homes and rake their yards.
One appreciative resident during Saturday’s blitz was Erica Speer. Speer, who’s father passed away three years ago and mother this past spring, and who has suffered weakness from a stroke herself, said the students have been helpful to her aging parents and herself in the past.
“To have that one task taken off, it’s huge,” she told SaultOnline, “because for me, it would take me two weeks – some raking, sit down, get the dolly, haul it to the driveway, rake, sit down, bag it, haul it to the front – so taking that one activity is huge.
“And I don’t think (the students) understand the impact for people like me in that kind of a situation. So I am really grateful.”
For Sylvio Pelletier, a second year Civil Engineering Technician student at Sault College, this is a chance to give back to the community and help seniors stay in their homes longer.
“I’ve been very fortunate and I feel like it’s good to give back and help other people,” said Pelletier, who’s done this for the past two years.
“I think that these endeavors would go a long way to mending problems in our society,” he continued.
“They boil down to individual actions like this; so things like this could go a long way.”
Both United Way Campaign Coordinator Natasha Collett and Sault College skilled trades professor Sam Spadafora also said they think doing this is an important way to give back to the community.
“(The residents) are so thankful,” Spadafora said.
“They come out and say thank you (multiple) times, because it’s work that’s really hard for them to do and we can get it done in 2 minutes, usually. It’s very rewarding.”
“If we can help out and show that the younger people want to help out and all come together as a community, I think that that’s really good,” Collett said.
“There are a lot of low-income seniors as well, so they don’t have the means to do these things,” she continued, “and I think it shows appreciation to Sault College and appreciation to the United Way staff that we can all come together to do this and help.”
For more information on Trades Day of Caring, or to find out if you qualify, you can reach the United Way of Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma District at their website or by calling them at (705) 256-7476.