While many await snowfall to enjoy winter activities, some senior Lakers feel the unavoidable burden of keeping driveways clean throughout the season.
The Snow Angels program initiated by Sylvan Lake Wellness and Community Connections ensures volunteers are available to help seniors through snow days. The program is seeking volunteers to join the initiative and help continue the service.
Volunteer Centre coordinator Amy Boutin said, “Snow Angels is a volunteer service program where individuals, organizations, businesses, classrooms, families, and groups of youth can commit to removing snow from the driveway and entrance way of a community resident in need throughout the snow season.”
The program has been assisting community seniors for over a decade. It is a proactive approach to helping those who have difficulty or no capable means to clear their driveway, said Boutin.
“Rather than scrambling for support and help after a major snowfall, resources for these residents will be in place in advance which provides peace of mind.
“Adopting a driveway is also a fun and healthy opportunity for citizens of all ages to enjoy the outdoors while making a personal contribution to improving the quality of life of another in need,” said Boutin.
Anyone interested to volunteer can sign up by calling the Volunteer Centre at (403) 887-1137, ext. 433.
“With the number of seniors on our list going up each year, we need more volunteers to successfully run the program. Once we have our first huge snowfall, the number of seniors in need will increase, meaning the number of volunteers needed will increase as well,” said Boutin.
The list typically consists of about 30 seniors each year. While volunteers usually take on one or more driveways, Boutin said she tries to balance the number of volunteers and residents.
“I have volunteers that have signed up year after year, but with so many more seniors signing up each year, it’s an ongoing recruitment of volunteers,” said Boutin.
The program is open to seniors 65 years of age and older who fall under the income threshold range, with a condition or disability (temporary or permanent) preventing them from participating in snow clearing activities. Seniors can sign up throughout the season.
The program aims to ensure the driveway, sidewalk, and entrance to the house are cleared within 48 hours of a snowfall.
“We encourage the residents to allow the volunteer to use their shovels, ice chippers, ice melt, etc. We ask that they have the tools easily accessible for the volunteer at all times,” Boutin concluded.