Landscaping angels descend with rakes, spades and water | Coronavirus

A third party of Angels has turned up in the town of Greenburgh. The Landscaping Angels program, launched on August 1st, provides services to elderly, disabled, low-income or other residents who are unable to maintain their property.

Edgemont residents Fabio Scarselli, an aspiring junior at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Jackson Tavel, an aspiring senior at Edgemont High School, have modeled their initiative on the existing Snow Angels and Vaccine Angels programs at which the residents receive support with: or snow removal or the scheduling of vaccination appointments.

Tavel, 17, and Scarselli, 19, whose years at Edgemont High School overlapped, had only seen each other in passing, but both wanted to help those in the community who couldn’t do certain things on their own. Tavel has been a snow angel for four years; Scarselli is participating in this year’s summer internship program in Greenburgh.

On August 6th, Scarselli explained how the Landscaping Angels program came about. During an internship session, Scarselli introduced the city clerk Judith Beville about the landscape design idea, while Tavel, who had contacted city council Paul Feiner about expanding his volunteer work beyond the “winter scene”, waited for Feiner in the lobby of the city hall. Beville pulled Scarselli out of the group to take him to Feiner and introduce him to the other student, who was willing to volunteer for more than shoveling snow.

“I saw Jackson talk to Paul Feiner and I put two and two together,” Scarselli said.

The landscaping concept came from the help of Scarselli and his older brother Matteo, an aspiring senior at Skidmore College, who looked after their grandmother, Veronica Adrian of Forest Hills, Queens. Last summer, her housekeeper was unable to do the gardening and anti-virus safeguards prevented outside help from being called in. The brothers attacked their back and front gardens.

“We pulled a lot of weeds, cleared some leaves near the doors and side stairs; There were vines growing on the side of the house and we cut them and cleared everything, ”explained Scarselli. “It took a little over two hours.”

His grandmother, a ninety year old, hadn’t asked for help, but the idea of ​​helping people in Greenburgh sprang from that experience.

For Tavel “he didn’t have to be limited to winter to help people; there are needs other than shoveling driveways … there are needs all year round, weeding, planting, watering, raking, removing dead branches. There are tuning-ups in the house, like repairs … We plan to incorporate interior work and add one more piece. ”He has reached out to seniors who live near him and need help with garbage disposal and recycling.

Currently, the Landscaping Angels have more requests for help – 22 in less than three weeks – than volunteers. Holidays and sport limit the availability of volunteers and overburden the two founders and their first volunteer.

Feiner sent e-blasts to local media and could include interns in the Landscaping Angels program. Scarselli is promoting the program with this group, some of whom have offered to help with the recruitment process. Tavel hopes to find younger students to move up.

Scarselli and Tavel know that when the summer ends, the leaves fall and school resumes, the demands on the Landscaping Angels will change. Scarselli and Tavel use their own tools – gloves, rakes, and spades are the three most important. Other volunteers can bring their own, or the angels can ask the city or a landscaping company for funding or donated tools. “There are many options,” he said.

The Landscaping Angels deal with issues unique to their services, such as: You visit a property to see what needs to be done and estimate how long the work could take. Demographics are also relevant: low-income Greenburgh residents have priority.

Some requests may be more than volunteers can handle. “We can’t help with some things,” said Tavel. “As long as the angel feels comfortable with it, we will otherwise pass it on to others.” He added: “Most angels are high school students.”

When angels are offered a payment or even a modest tip, it is donated to charity. “A lady tried to give us $ 20 for sushi,” said Tavel. “Because she liked sushi, she thought we would too. We just asked them to donate to Greenburgh. “

Scarselli emphasized the importance of the landscape building angels. “Jackson and I have the same motivation,” he said. “Some people need the help and we can give the help. I thought someone had already done that, but they didn’t, so here we are. “

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