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Snow angels seeking shoveling volunteers

About 20 more people required to shovel pathways from seniors' doorway to the sidewalk after snowfalls this winter.
Snow Angels
Joseph Beg (from left); Brenden Mawakeesick; Bonnie Krysowaty; Ash Laframboise and Ian Thompson help Age Friendly Thunder Bay launch an appeal for volunteers for the Snow Angels program on Friday; Nov. 20; 2020. (Leith Dunick;

THUNDER BAY – Volunteers who don’t mind a little hard work or a little winter weather are being called on to help some of the city’s seniors.

The Snow Angels program, offered by Age Friendly Thunder Bay, needs another 20 or so people to help clear pathways on driveways of city seniors, who often find themselves trapped in their homes when heavy winter weather arrives.

Participants in the program have a pathway shovelled from their front door to the sidewalk, wide enough for them to walk down or maneuver their wheelchair.

It’s a tremendous way to help the city’s oldest residents, said Age Friendly Thunder Bay’s Bonnie Krysowaty on Friday, launching an appeal for volunteers.

“It’s a game-changer for many seniors that are isolated and really have no way to get out of their house after a heavy snowfall or have any way for people to come into their homes after a heavy snowfall,” Krysowaty said.

A handful of volunteers have already signed up for the program, which launched last winter.

“We hope to have at least 25. If we get more, that would be absolutely wonderful, so we encourage anybody that’s 19 years of age and older within the city of Thunder Bay who wants to help out, to head over to (our) website and fill out the application form.”

Krysowaty said volunteers will be asked to take care of one home, shovelling the pathway within 72 hours of any snowfall that measures three centimetres or more.

“When we have a dusting like this we don’t expect anybody to rush out,” she said, pointing to a rapidly disappearing overnight snowfall on the ground.

“Shovels will be supplied to people and warm toques will be supplied to volunteers. And if the client has salt available, we ask the volunteers sprinkle that around too.”

The program is sponsored in part by Enbridge and Warrior Supplies have kicked in money and/or supplies to ensure the program runs smoothly.

Leadership Thunder Bay has also helped out.

“We should be able to make the program grow more widely throughout the city. We’ll be able to offer the volunteers some little perks, like prizes and things like that. The partnerships are extremely important. That collective approach is what makes thing happen in Thunder Bay,” Krysowaty said.

Leith Dunick

About the Author: Leith Dunick

A proud Nova Scotian who has called Thunder Bay home since 2002, Leith has been the editor of Thunder Bay Source for 18 years and has served a similar role with since 2009. Twitter: @LeithDunick
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