Snow Angels put call out for shovellers

By Vanessa Ybarra
December 21, 2017 - 5:07pm Updated: December 21, 2017 - 5:39pm

KAMLOOPS — Volunteer Kamloops has seen a significant drop in the number of helpers taking part in the 'Snow Angels' program this winter.

The program sees volunteers get matched with seniors and physically challenged people to shovel their driveways after each snowfall.

Right now, hundreds of people are on a waiting list.

While some residents have family stepping in to help, many do not.

Forget the gym, shovelling snow is Blake Noble's workout.

The Kamloops resident is clearing a senior's driveway after Tuesday's snowfall.

"It's nice to be able to help people who are not able to do it," said Noble.

One of those people Maurice Gauthier.

"I have a big problem with my foot and being 75 I'm not able to do it," said Gauthier.

The Snow Angels Program, which has about 70 volunteers and is run by Volunteer Kamloops is in dire need of more volunteers to help shovel snow for those who can't do it themselves.

"We have a waiting list of around 300 and it's actually growing so we're in dire need of volunteers to help," said Debbie Smith, Board President for Volunteer Kamloops.

Smith says the shortage is due to volunteer burnout, as well people moving away or being too busy.

She worries the lack of help will lead to increased risks for seniors.

"They may end up being restricted indoors because they can't leave their homes. For safety reasons we need to keep our sidewalks plowed so it's a real challenge for the seniors."

Volunteer Kamloops says it's currently seeking more than 100 angels in order to meet the demand.

Along with helping out a senior or person with disabilities, all volunteers receive a free medium pizza from Domino's Pizza after their shift.

While TRU students and teens make up the majority of snowangels, Smith says the volunteer call out is for anyone willing to lend a hand.

"You can do it as a group. There are one or two homes where people need assistance in a shift, people do a rotate so you're not out there everyday, if it's too strenuous you can share that responsibility."

If you're interested in becoming a snow angel, you can call Volunteer Kamloops at 250-372-8313 or e-mail [email protected]

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