Rutland, VT- Some members of the Rutland community got a little help from local students Tuesday morning. Stafford Technical Center students were out and about raking leaves and delivering pies to neighbors.

The entire school community left the classroom behind for the great outdoors and offered some older folks a helping hand.

“I love doing it,” said Ethan Foley, who studies welding and metal fabrication at Stafford, “I love helping out in the community, volunteering, and it’s really good to help people who don’t really have the ability to get out and rake their leaves.”

Around 250 students could be found across a few neighborhoods raking leaves for almost 30 households that might need a little help.

Second-year student Baker Larock says it brings the school community together. Larock said, “it’s just a fun day to get out and help people.”

It’s a Stafford Tech tradition that began over 10 years ago. Cindy Dunigan, one of the event’s organizers, says it all started when an instructor pulled his bus over one day and had students rake for people in the community. After the instructor passed away, the school kept up with the service in his honor.

Emily Sunderland, a digital arts student, snapped photos of the students raking leaves and said, “I think it’s great to be able to do stuff together outside of our schoolwork, and we can bond with our program better. I’m from Rutland, so it’s awesome to be able to give back to the community.”

The community shared their gratitude. Richard and Ruth Westfall, who both live in Rutland, said, “It’s a big help, especially for us older ones, we both are 89 years old, so we’re happy to have them do the leaves. The leaf raking is beginning to be a chore now, so this is really appreciated.”

With another year down, students, instructors, and homeowners are looking to keep the tradition alive in the coming years.