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Edinboro University students to pitch in during annual R.A.K.E. leaf cleanup


The smell of autumn is in the air and the leaves are falling, which means it’s also time for Edinboro University’s annual Random Acts of Kindness in Edinboro (R.A.K.E.) event, in which students rake the leaves from lawns of area residences.

R.A.K.E. will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2. In the event of rain, the project will be held on Nov. 3.

Edinboro University students will be raking and bagging fallen leaves at homes in the borough of Edinboro. Priority will be given to elderly and disabled residents.

“We will be raking the lawns of elderly and disabled residents who call to request assistance first,” said Dr. Melissa Gibson, service-learning director. “Once we’ve reached those individuals, then we will rake the lawns of others who have called to request. And, lastly, we will be walking throughout the borough knocking on doors and asking residents if they would like their lawns raked.”

On the day of the event, staff members will set up a check-in station for student volunteers at the corner of Normal and Meadville streets, near the campus clock tower. The volunteers will be sent out in shifts from 9-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-3 p.m. to rake.

According to Director of Campus Life & Leadership Development Michelle Barbich, this community service project is designed to reach as many residents in the community as possible in one day.

“We usually have approximately 200 student volunteers, so they can cover quite a few houses in a day,” said Barbich. “However, we hope that residents with very large lawns will understand that it would be difficult for students to complete their service if they spend an extraordinary amount on any given lawn. We try to help as many people as possible.”

R.A.K.E. has become an annual event that many of the University’s 120 student clubs and organizations participate in each year.

“This is a great way for student clubs and organizations to give back to the community of Edinboro,” said Shannon Rohrich, who is serving for a year in the Edinboro area as an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer in Service to America. “We look forward to having students serve the community.”

Edinboro residents are encouraged to contact the Community Outreach Center at 814-732-1720 to have their name placed on the R.A.K.E. list.