When 78-year-old Trudean Olson looked out at her snow-covered sidewalk last week, she wasn’t sure if she would be able to make her weekly volunteer shift at the Kennedy Seniors’ Recreation Centre.
“In my case, I am 78 and am by myself and am unable to do a lot of shoveling,” Olson said.
The heavy snowfall buried the large driveway around Olson’s house. To make matters worse, she explained, the driveway is gravelled and hard to shovel even under normal circumstances.
Olson, who has been volunteering at the Kennedy Centre since 2008 and recently won the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers for her service, didn’t relish the idea having to cancel her shift.
Thankfully, some snow angels were on the way to help her out.
The Snow Angels program is a Corporation of Delta initiative that matches seniors and individuals who can’t manage to clear snow from driveways and sidewalks with volunteers who are able, and willing, to provide the service.
To qualify, residents must be 65 plus and living in a single-family residence in Delta, or have a physical disability that leaves them unable to shovel their sidewalks. There must also be no able-bodied person under 65 living in the residence.
When Olson reached out for help, it didn’t take long for a Delta Police car to arrive, and her path was soon cleared by the work of a neighbour’s son and a Snow Angel.
“They came to me and did an exceptional job and I am so grateful.”
Liz Gibson, Senior Citizens Coordinator at the Corporation of Delta, said this year’s snowfall has meant a busy year for the Snow Angels program.
“Unlike previous years when snowfall was minimal, this year we saw a huge increase in demand for the service,” she said.
Over 50 seniors are registered for the program, she explained, and volunteers were deployed on six occasions since Christmas.
“We have received numerous phone calls and emails from seniors who were just so appreciative of the service,” Gibson said. “Our volunteers are true angels, responding to the needs of all the people needing the service.”
According to Gibson, volunteers range from 18 to 60 years of age. Most live in Delta and some are Corporation staff, North Delta Community Police Station volunteers and volunteers with the Delta Emergency Social Services program.
Olson said she wanted to make sure the volunteers received recognition for their hard work that made a huge difference to her week.
“Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Olson wrote in a letter to the Snow Angels that she shared with the Reporter.