With the snow starting to fall in Kamloops and likely to stay as winter settles in, the local program Snow Angels, matching seniors with volunteers who shovel their driveway, is starting to ramp up.
Today, students from Westsyde Secondary are helping seniors there clear the snow. It marked the first day they're volunteering since the snow started to fly last week, part of Oncore Seniors Society's Snow Angels program.
This is the fourth year of the program, matching volunteers with seniors who need their driveways shovelled when it snows.
"This service is very important to seniors. Many seniors are isolated to their homes and they're using services such as Handydart or Home Health, and in order to utilize those services, they actually need to have their driveways and walkways cleared."
The service helps out seniors like Olga Lockhart, who is battling cancer and immobile.
"I don't have to go out and shovel it myself. Right now, my arms ache, I can hardly move them," she says.
Seniors in Westsyde appreciate the work of the students, who are part of the Trades and Employment program at Westsyde Secondary. It helps get them working in the community, whether volunteer or otherwise.
Every time it snows this winter, they will be out shovelling.
"Sometimes we're out here two or three times a week, and last year, we had the great big dump, which had about 30 centimeters in one night. That was a lot, it was a lot for the seniors. They try to come out here and do it, but we encourage them to be patient and let us get to the job," says Cleve Maartman, teacher at Westsyde Secondary.
The program is still looking for more volunteers. oncore has matched 100 seniors in kamloops with volunteers, but another 126 are waiting for theirs.
If you would like to volunteer with the Snow Angels program this winter, you can contact Kirsten Herman at Oncore Seniors' Society at 828-0600 or email [email protected].
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