Age Friendly Saco and volunteers from a number of organizations at Thornton Academy gathered on a recent weekend to fill sand buckets they later delivered to homebound residents 65 and older. Andrew Dickinson/City of Saco Photo

SACO — Age Friendly Saco kicked off its 2019-20 Sand Buckets for Seniors program on Saturday, Nov. 16 with bucket filling and distribution at the Saco Transfer Station.

As snow and ice season begins, the service is critical to helping Saco’s older citizens keep their outdoor walking surfaces clear and safe, said Saco Communications Director Emily Roy.

Sand Buckets for Seniors delivers 5 gallon buckets of a sand-salt mixture for any homebound Saco resident older than 65 who needs it. The group provided 65 buckets on Saturday and will continue to deliver buckets throughout the winter as new or refill requests are received, said Roy. Age Friendly Saco provided more than 100 buckets by the end of the 2018-19 winter season.

Eligible citizens may have a bucket delivered by calling 710-5029 and leaving a message if no one is in the office. Seniors may also apply to receive a bucket by filling out the online form at the website: https://www.sacomaine.org/agefriendly.

The program is made possible with collaboration from Saco Public Works Department, and Thornton Academy volunteers from Interact, the National Honor Society, Student Council, and the Action Club. Thornton Academy teacher Teri Arenstam has coordinated the students who help with the program ensuring active and engaged student volunteer turnout on distribution days, Roy said.

Pat Snyder, a dedicated Age Friendly Saco volunteer, spends the time between winters collecting the buckets and storing them at her home for future use in the Sand Buckets for Seniors program. Snyder knows which businesses have the buckets, and many local companies are now saving them specifically for her. Roy said all the buckets for the program were donated.

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