Helping Works

Don’t blow it: Clean up yards of leaves for those who can’t at Rake-Up Nampa

Fall is upon us.

The leaves have adopted the vibrant hues of gold, orange and red and are making their way to the ground, which means the chore of raking is also upon us.

With the size of our trees, we easily fill 35 to 40 tall leaf bags each season.

Just thinking about stuffing the bags — all that squatting and bending and packing down — makes my lower back and quads ache.

And then if you have dogs, there is that 100 percent chance that you plunge your hands into poop (always wear gloves!) while transferring leaves from ground to sack. Fun stuff.

It’s hard work, but we do it every year because the end result is so satisfying.

And although we pop a couple of ibuprofen after the fact, we are perfectly capable of tackling the job.

For those who aren’t physically able to rake up the fallen leaves, there is help — and an opportunity for you to help by giving those residents a tidy lawn during Rake-Up Nampa.

The annual event will be held on Saturday, Nov. 9.

The city is still accepting applications for those Nampa residents in need of the help and the volunteer teams who will assist them. In order to apply to have your yard raked, you must be at least 60 years old or disabled (no age qualification), be unable to rake your property and live within the Nampa city limits.

The deadline to apply is Monday, Oct. 28.

For those interesting in forming a volunteer team (need at least eight participants), the application deadline is Thursday, Oct. 31.

Volunteers will meet in the parking lot in front of the old train depot on Nov. 9 between 8 and 9:30 a.m. for warm drinks and to pick up supplies before heading out to their raking destination. Teams are usually done with the job before 11 a.m.

Rakes and paper leaf bags will be provided.

To fill out an application or get more details, go to For questions about participation, call 208-468-5430 or email

Michelle Jenkins compiles event calendars, archives and writes a Helping Works column for the Idaho Statesman. She attended Boise State University and grew up in New Plymouth, Idaho.