CHICAGO (CBS) — Shoveling snow isn’t exactly an enjoyable activity for most, but it can be nearly impossible for some.
A new volunteer program is looking to lend a helping hand, and shovel, to Chicagoans in need. WBBM’s Andy Dahn reports.
Alderman Brian Hopkins said when it snows, the city is focused on clearing the streets, meaning clearing sidewalks is the responsibility of residents. But for seniors and those with disabilities, that’s easier said than done.
That is where the Chicago Snow Corps. program comes in.
“We decided to put together a little volunteer corp of residents who are going to help the senior citizens in their neighborhood who simply can’t get out there and shovel, especially in the cold temperatures that we’ve had right now,” Ald. Hopkins said.
Hopkins said the system is easy, those in need can call 311 and request a shoveling volunteer. The Chicago Snow Corps connects volunteers willing to shovel too those in need.
The problem, however, is knowing who truly needs help, and who just wants to take a day off of shoveling.
“If you’re an able-bodied person and you request this service, you have to keep in mind you’re taking it away from a senior citizen,” Hopkins said. “It’s a little bit like parking in a handicapped spot when you’re able-bodied. It’s just not the right thing to do and we hope people will enforce that among themselves.”
The program has already seen a large number of volunteers get involved, and Hopkins said with forecasters predicting a brutal winter, the more, the merrier. Wards throughout the city rely on volunteers to keep the program going and are Aldermen are calling on their residents to participate.