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Yard Work? There's a List for That

If you're a senior citizen and need yard work done, Margaret Pinheiro has a list for you. For that matter, if you’re on the younger end of the age scale and want to do some simple yard work, well, her list works for you, too.

Pinheiro, who works in Westport’s Department of Human Services, manages the “We Do Walkways” program. Through it, seniors can hire teens to help get their yards clean and sidewalks shoveled.  “It started with show shoveling. There were seniors who were stuck in their homes. They just needed an able-bodied young man or woman to help,” said Pinheiro.

Michael Samela started with the program this year. At 20, he is a little older than the age-group Pinheiro targets. A friend of his was too busy to take a job when he came up on the list, so Samela stepped in. In the fall he'll go back to Amherst College, where he studies psychology, but for now he's doing yard work in the program. “Obviously, some of the work is tedious, like weeding, but it's nice to help someone,” said Samela.

Of course, the help isn't indentured servitude. Pinheiro recommends a $10 an hour compensation, paid by the senior who needs the work done. To that end, she insists that any work she sends a kid to do be yard work.

“We Do Walkways” runs year-round. Pinheiro's recent push to remind the community that the program exists has led to 14 more seniors looking for help and nine kids and teens offering their services. For more information, or to sign up for one side of the list or the other, call Pinheiro at Human Services, 203-341-1050.

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