Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Snow Angels program

A guest post
A story from Calgary

The "Snow Angels" campaign has been set up in Calgary so that older people can have their sidewalks cleared of snow and ice to enable them to walk outside safely without fear of slipping and falling.

For many older people snow and ice means having to remain housebound to avoid the inevitable falls and slips. This is why a new scheme has been set up to help clear their sidewalks so that they can walk outside safely and without fear. People in the community have been invited to volunteer to adopt an older person's sidewalk and regularly commit to clearing it of snow and ice, from November to April each year.

One shining example of such a good Samaritan is Jack Schellhorn who is so dedicated to helping his older neighbours that they regard him as an angel. Some years ago he started to help a newly bereaved lady who had just moved into his area.

Mr Schellhorn explained:“I realized that the husband had passed away and I didn’t think it was right for someone my mother’s age to shovel the walk while I sat on my proverbial butt."

Joyce's daughter Kim Galli was amazed at Mr. Schellhorn's generosity when she saw him shovelling the sidewalk every morning for her mother.

The Snow Angels program is now in its seventh year. One hundred and fifty signs have been put up around the city encouraging neighbours to help out the older people of the town. The help is extended to doing jobs for older adults such as grass cutting, often difficult for those challenged by arthritis and other health issues such as heart conditions.

Co-ordinator Anna Ross said that the numbers of older people in the city have increased and so the program is vital for their well-being and safety.

Ms. Ross said:"Really, there is no sign-up. If you want to help your neighbour, just knock on their door or anonymously shovel their walk."

As for Jack Schellhorn, the Gallis were so impressed that they nominated him for recognition from the Snow Angels Program of his outstanding services to older adults in Calgary.

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