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Sault College trades students gear up to help seniors

College students in Sault Ste. Marie are prepping to help seniors in the community.

In just more than a month, the annual Trades Day of Caring takes place, and college officials are looking to spread the word to help as many as possible.

Sault college students learning the trades have been giving back to the community for several years by helping local seniors with yard work and other tasks to prepare for winter.

"We do some weather stripping, sealing, do some minor hose work putting away, maintenance, maybe some large items outside that need to be winterized,” said the college’s Marc Pilon.

“Those are the activities that … aren't as easy for certain age populations to get out and do themselves."

The day is a partnership between the college and the local United Way. The initiative takes place Oct. 28 and uses a first-come, first-served application process, with a focus on the need of applicants.

"For some people it’s just not possible,” said Roberta Alverenga, a second-year civil engineering student.

“That’s why this is so important. It's hard work but it certainly makes you feel good, for yourself and for the people that need it."

Not only does the program benefit the recipients of the extra work, but students are able to build closer bonds with classmates and tackle tasks they will need to know of as a future homeowner.

Those who signed up are also excited at the chance to give back.


"I think it’s a great opportunity to help those, especially the disabled or elderly, the folks that need the support,” said Sukhraj Singh Gerwal, a first-year student in construction project management.

“Especially since I'm coming from London, Ont., and being in a new city, I think it's a great way to just get integrated into the new community here."

"With trades, construction, even civil engineering, they're going to work on projects in the future with the community,” Pilon added.

“So really this is just the first stepping stone they're going to take in hopefully a long career in working on these types of projects, liaising with the community and all of our citizens."

Last year's Trades Day of Caring saw 17 students lend a hand at 14 homes. This year, more than 40 students are signed up, and they're looking to help as many seniors as possible.

Those interested in receiving help with yard work can contact the United Way before Oct. 16. Top Stories

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