SERV Allentown is gearing-up to help senior citizens again this winter with a snow shoveling program and a huge assist from Allentown Central Catholic High School. Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski and representatives of Lehigh County Active Life and ACCHS promoted the program during a news conference this morning at the Lehigh County Active Life center.
Some 65 Central Catholic High School students are volunteering for the program this winter as part of the school’s Central City Project (CCP).
According to Central Catholic High School Community Outreach Director Pat Markham, “The Central City Project (CCP) is Allentown Central Catholic High School’s commitment to the City of Allentown. For over 80 years, ACCHS has had a vibrant Christian presence in Center City Allentown. As demographics have changed, a majority of our students no longer hail from the immediate community surrounding the school. The CCP is an opportunity for students from communities outside the city to interact with the local neighborhood’s people, institutions, and events.”
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the boost these students are giving the Snow Angel program,” said Pawlowski. “All the snow that fell last winter put our volunteer force to the test. A lot more senior citizens will be able to benefit as a result of the hard work of these teenagers. I can’t thank them enough.”
Senior citizens that own homes in Allentown will be able to find an application for the “Snow Angel” program on the city website under the SERV Allentown Logo, or may pick-up an application at the senior center. All applicants for snow removal services must deliver their application to Lehigh County Active Life, located at 1633 W. Elm Street, in Allentown.
Once a senior qualifies for the program, their application is kept by the Senior Center and forwarded to a neighborhood group president.
Youth are able to apply for the program to serve as volunteers by visiting the same SERV Allentown Logo link on the city website. All volunteer applicants must deliver their applications to the chief service officer, Ismael Arcelay located in City Hall, 435 Hamilton Street, Allentown. Volunteer applicants then go through an approval process which includes a background check. The chief service officer collects approved applications and forwards them to the volunteer coordinator who in turn targets local neighborhood group leaders.
Snow removal kicks-in when 3 or more inches of snow have fallen in the city. At that point applicants who have qualified for the program call their neighborhood group location and can request snow removal services. A volunteer is then dispatched to perform snow removal. All volunteers will be wearing an identification card.
SERV Allentown is part of AARP Pennsylvania’s “Create The Good” program. It encompasses support of Cities of Service, a national bi-partisan coalition of mayors of cities of all sizes working together to engage citizens in helping to solve pressing local challenges.
Three years ago a 40 member task force discussed priority needs areas that could be served by volunteers. Those needs were identified under the categories of education, community / neighborhood development, and youth development.