Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Helping Hands

 9-February-2021

  In January of this year two Bogota Students,  Mr. Shahem Albean, who is attending  the Academies at Englewood and Mr. Ricardo Santana, a Student at Bogota High School came up with an idea to help volunteering in the Borough. They formed Bogota's Helping Hands so they can  find, both Students to volunteers their time, and groups or individuals who made need assistance. In planning they wanted create a core group of people who will be available to help with any situation that comes to their attention. They then reached out to Elementary School Parent Ms. Sherry Solomov to act as an Adult Supervisor and mentor.  
  Soon they where joined by about a dozen classmates agreeing to take part in this program. They would quickly have the opportunity to activate their ideas. The snow storm of 31-January  put the volunteers to a live action test. This first group fanned out across the Borough to begin the task of clearing walkway and digging out cars if needed. The Student began working on the afternoon the snow had started to ease-up, and cleared a number of properties.  Those homeowner they helped were happy for the assistance and repeatedly thanked the Volunteers for their service. Some people gave a donation to help them with their group. Other offered coffee and hot chocolate in appreciation. They would continue to do this type of volunteering with snow removal after the storm on  Sunday-7-February as well. 
  The starting goals of Bogota's Helping Hands is have a group of like minded Students to join in, which will allow them to have as much flexibility as possible.  This is so they can target anything they feel that needs to be done. Bogota's Helping Hands has a long term goal of making this group permanent fixture in the Borough. They want to pass down this idea of Community Service to the different generations of High School Students. They see this a possible first step to give Bogota an organization that will always be able to offer some helping hands in the years to come. 
    Bogota's Helping Hands will continue to look for High School Students, and older Middle School Students, to join their organization. Any Student who works as a volunteer will  have those hours added to their Community Service requirement at the High School. Currently there are also Students who attend Bergen Tech and Bergen Catholic High School that have joined to help their Hometown. Anyone who wishes to join their group must start by filling out an application, that is published on their website. Local students will have to answer some basic questions so it can be determined if they are acceptable for a role with Bogota's Helping Hands. For anyone seeking assistance for themselves, or others, can contact them on their website or by email at:  bogotahelpinghands@gmail.com . They could also call at: 201-824-6296.
  When the two Men informed their Parents with this idea they received full support.   Mr. Albean's Parents worked with him to think of the groups name. Along with the idea that the volunteers should work in groups of two to make the task at hand become easier.  Mr. Santana's Family expressed how proud they were of him for being a part of this group.  Adding that, with volunteering  it would help him not only as a student but as a person as well. They are encouraging him to keep doing this knowing that he is going to be doing good things for others.  
  As of now Mr. Albean, Mr. Santana, and Ms. Solomov will be a coordination committee that will oversee the running for Bogota's Helping Hands. They will focus on which projects the group will take part in. They would also like to hear to what the community needs are and how they can assist them. The group also are accepting monetary donations, which will then be used help other non-profit groups in town. They are looking to partner up with other groups in the Borough as they continue to grow. Plans are being made to work with the Bogota Seniors Citizens in the near future.
 For more information or to apply to become a volunteer please visit their website at: Bogotahelpinghands   
To apply for assistance please go to:  bogotahelpinghands@gmail.com
 or call 201-824-6296



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 Above photo courtesy of Bogota's Helping Hands




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