‘Snow buddies’ do the shoveling for elderly residents

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Snow buddies make sure elderly can get out of their homes after a snowstorm

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DENVER – Now that the snow has stopped falling in Denver, homeowners have their work cut out for them. It is a Denver law that all sidewalks must be shoveled within 24 hours of a snowstorm. Some volunteers are pitching in to make sure no one gets fined.

“I come out whenever it snows over an inch or so and make sure the walk is passable,” Denver resident Michael James said.

After 8 inches fell in his neighborhood, James spent about 45 minutes shoveling the snow. It is hard work, and it isn’t even his house.

“Right. It’s not even my house. But she is my neighbor,” he said.

James is part of a group of volunteers called “Snow Buddies.” The program is managed by Volunteers of America and pairs senior citizens with their neighbors who volunteer to shovel sidewalks, paths and steps, and dig out cars for them.

“They’re elderly women about age 85 and they can’t shovel snow and they’re also a little bit scared to have a stranger come to the door,” said Jordan Kellerman with Volunteers of America.

While the volunteers are there to work outside, it means a lot more than that to the people inside.

“If you look out at the beautiful snow and you can’t get out, you feel trapped,” James said. “It’s just reassuring for older people to know somebody is looking out for them, somebody will be by and that they can get out of the house if they need to.”

The volunteers say knowing the seniors are safe makes all the hard work worth it.

“I really like doing this because I hope when I’m 85 someone will come shovel my walk,” Kellerman said.

VOA is still looking for about 50 volunteers to shovel sidewalks for metro area senior citizens. If you are interested, call 303-297-0408 or visit their website.

 

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