Calling on snow angels

Volunteers needed to shovel walkways

By Dawn Booth, Connect Weekly

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buf- falo is seeking to fill remaining volunteer spots for their 2016-2017 Snow Angel program. The program helps seniors with the removal of snow from their walkways. Supplied photo.

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is seeking to fill remaining volunteer spots for their 2016-2017 Snow Angel program. The program helps seniors with the removal of snow from their walkways. Supplied photo.

The seasonal Snow Angel program is underway and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) is seeking volunteers to shovel walkways and driveways for seniors.

As of last week, 57 homes and one facility are registered to have program support. Although volunteers have already registered, over a dozen of residences need volunteers to help.

“Volunteers from sport teams, families, businesses, and organizations have signed up, but we still need more to cover 13 homes. Ten downtown, one in Abasand and two in Gregoire,” said RMWB’s Program Coordinator Caitlyn Evans.

“We recognize that the fire has affected everyone in the community to varying degrees and our volunteer recruitment drive will help people get involved, which benefits everyone. Please assist if you can — you could change the life of a senior and feel wonderful doing it.”

The annual snow removal program provides services to seniors aged 65 and older. According to Evans, the ‘Snow Angel’ volunteers help seniors stay safe during the winter and the snow removal prevents potentially dangerous falls. She said the program also gives the seniors a sense of belonging.

“Seniors in the program are able to live without the barrier of a potentially dangerous driveway or sidewalk. They can stay safely in their homes longer and, at a personal level, understand that they are important and valued. As the volunteers clear snow, often in frigid weather, the message that this action sends is critically important to both the seniors and the Snow Angels,” Evans explained.

“This assists in seniors feeling more connected to their neighbourhoods and community, improving quality of life.”

The RWMB donates the tools needed and delivers shovels and ice scrapers to each registered home.
To become a Snow Angel, the RMWB asks volunteers to ensure they are capable to make a strong commitment to shovel for the entire winter season.

“If volunteers are out of town during a large snowfall, we request that they please find a replacement while they are away or let our coordinator know, so we can find someone to assist in their absence,” Evans said.

As a special thanks, the RMWB enters the volunteers into a monthly gift card draw and hosts a special ‘End of the Winter’ celebration, which invites all the residents taking part in the program.

To learn more about the Snow Angel program, visit the RMWB website at www.rmwb.ca/snowangels. Interested volunteers can contact Caitlyn Evans at 780-743-7917 or by email at Caitlyn.evans@rmwb.ca.

– Connect Weekly –