Free sand for seniors available from Lions Club

  • In order to help Athol seniors make their stairs and walkways safer this winter, the Athol Lions Club will be delivering buckets of sand on Saturdays to residents age 65 and older who apply. Pictured are some of the sand buckets to be used for the project. Donations of 3- to 5-gallon buckets are being accepted at the Athol Town Hall and the Transfer and Recycling Center in Athol. Athol Daily News/Kathy Chaisson

  • In order to help Athol seniors make their stairs and walkways safer this winter, the Athol Lions Club will be delivering buckets of sand on Saturdays to residents age 65 and older who apply. Pictured are some of the sand buckets to be used for the project. Donations of 3- to 5-gallon buckets are being accepted at the Athol Town Hall and the Transfer and Recycling Center in Athol. Athol Daily News/Kathy Chaisson

Staff Writer
Published: 11/18/2019 9:50:14 PM

ATHOL – Peace of mind is what Athol Lions Club members hope to deliver to Athol senior citizens by helping them prepare for the upcoming snow and ice season.

The club has started providing free home delivery of buckets of sand to Athol residents age 65 and older. Project Chair Dee Wheeler said the deliveries are limited to seniors in Athol because the sand is paid for by Athol taxpayers.

Wheeler had heard about the “Sand for Seniors” project from someone who told her another Lions club had done a similar program many years ago. “At the time I thought, ‘what a great idea!’ I often think it’s so difficult for me, even though I’m not yet a senior citizen, to get sand to make my steps and walkways safe for the postman, visitors and any other deliveries that come to my home. I thought this would be great for the town of Athol for the Lions to do. Winter is hard enough. This is one way to make it a tiny bit easier.”

Wheeler pitched the idea to the Athol Lions Club Board of Directors and received unanimous approval for the project. She also received approval from Doug Walsh, Superintendent of the Department of Public Works, to go in and get the sand any time. Walsh told her the sand has a low concentration of salt which won’t damage stairs or walkways. It is the same sand available to any Athol resident able to drive to the DPW barn, scoop the sand into their bucket (maximum 5-gallon) and lift it into their vehicle. The Lions aim to make it easier for senior citizens.

Wheeler also met with Cathy Savoy, Director of the Athol Senior Center, who was, she said, “very instrumental in getting the names and forwarding them to me to get the sand out to those who need it.” Savoy also advertised the program in the Athol Senior Center monthly newsletter.

A team of 13 Lions members will be filling the buckets and delivering them on Saturdays during daylight hours upon the notification of the need, Wheeler said.

Athol seniors can sign up for a sand bucket delivery by visiting the Athol Senior Center, 82 Freedom St., or by calling 978-249-8986. Applicants are requested to provide clear directions to their property if the location isn’t obvious and to make sure a house number is visible.

Wheeler said the club is also accepting donations of 3- to 5-gallon buckets, preferably with lids. Buckets can be delivered to the Town Hall, 584 Main St where Building Superintendent/Custodian John Duguay, Jr. has set up an area in Liberty Hall where they can be dropped off. Business hours at the Town Hall are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and closed on Friday. Empty buckets can also be brought to the Athol Transfer and Recycling Center, 1010 West Royalston Rd., (Route 32). Hours are Wednesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and Saturday, 8:30 to 2 p.m.

Reach Kathy Chaisson at 978-249-3535, ext. 656, or kchaisson@atholdailynews.com.


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