October 20, 2018

Fall 2019 Clean-up

Almonte 2019 HANDS Team:

Early on a cold, grey and drizzly Saturday fall morning with no desire to do anything but stay in bed, somehow about 20 to 25 adults and youth from the Hillside RP church in Almonte got up and made it to the rendezvous at the church for 8:30 am to help in the 2019 annual Fall Clean-up in and around Almonte, Ontario. The group of tired and initially grumpy helpers of all ages, standing there in work clothes and armed with rakes, leaf blowers, tarps, cutting tools and even a chain saw were awaiting their orders. We broke up into two teams and employed the "Leap Frog Approach" to serving our customers. I had never heard of the "Leap Frog Approach" until about 8:50 am that morning, about 5 mins before we all had to roll out to our first customer. The "Leap Frog Approach" is when both teams essentially work on customers in the same area and when one team is done, they bypass or “Leap Frog” the other team and start working on the next property in the area. This continues until all properties have been serviced. Anyway, we had over a dozen places on our list to clean up and we were on a tight schedule. Many onlookers were both amazed and likely a bit frightened when they saw the wave of people piling out of vehicles onto their neighbour’s lawns like a swarm of locusts. In no time at all, the leaves were flying around in some strange and somewhat randomly patterned motion, eventually making their way into the dump trailer. Some kids were playing, some were raking, and some adults were running around pretending to be busy, but somehow it all got done.

By mid morning the sun was shining and the weather turned out great. We burned through the customer list by around 3pm and even picked up a few extra customers along the way. The last customer was a relative of one of the team members, and what was left of the team made their way out there. We homed in our clean-up skills and last bits of energy and once finished we were treated with all kinds of homemade treats, but no one will forget the butter tarts. I think everyone had at least 4; I know I did. They were the hit of the afternoon.

Like every time we do this event, everyone starts out a little grumpy and subdued, but by the end, people are laughing and chatting up a storm of leaves. Good memories.

I would like to thank our clean-up crew and especially our customers who allow us to help serve them by cleaning up their lawns. Most customers are repeat offenders and each year we get a few new ones. It’s great to hang-out with the people in the community and help them out, as well as raise some money for our school building project in Belize.


Yours Truly,

Official Team Blogger


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