CHICAGO (CBS) — We haven’t had the first snowflake of the season yet, but a Northern suburb is preparing to get snow shoveling help for senior citizens and the disabled for when we do start to get winter weather.
The City of Evanston’s Senior & Disabled Persons Snow Shoveling Program, in its seventh year, connects residents with volunteers who are willing to provide snow shoveling services.
Program coordinator Leslie Wilson says volunteers sign up and are put on a list that is given to seniors and the disabled who sign up for help. The seniors or disabled people call the volunteer nearest them when they need help in clearing snow from their sidewalks and driveways.
“The volunteers fill out forms on when can work, what ward they live in, so we can match them up with seniors who need snow shoveling,” Wilson said.
Wilson says, generally, the program gets about 40 volunteers each year. This year 25 people have already signed up to help others.
Last year was a bit of a different year, though, as it was a milder winter. As such, a lot of the volunteers did not get used.
Wilson says she reaches out in October to those who had volunteered the winter before and asks if they’re interested in helping out again. She says nearly half of them are. On the other hand, Wilson says, “Some of those folks are students from Northwestern and they’ve moved on so I get emails back that say, ‘Sorry, I’m living in California. I’m not going to come back to Evanston to shovel.'”
Some of the volunteer snow shovelers decide they want to help the same people the next year; so both they and the seniors/disabled come off the program’s list, as they’ve made a private volunteer arrangement.
Sometimes, Northwestern University fraternities sign up so that frat members can get community service hours.
To fill out a volunteer sign-up form, click here.