With more than two feet of snow over the last week, and more snow expected, Snow Angels volunteers have been plowing forward to help local seniors clear the access ways to their homes.
According to Environment Canada, 70 centimetres (2.3 feet) of snow fell in Terrace last Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 29-30, with another eight centimetres (three inches) Thursday.
For seniors and those with mobility challenges, snow can bring a lot of worry about getting around safely, especially getting in and out their homes. Snow Angel volunteers try to ease that burden by clearing pathways to and from their homes after every major snowfall.
The Snow Angels program, run by Volunteer Terrace since 1991, hit a new record this year with the total number of people it serves: 51 seniors in Terrace.
That’s almost 20 more than last year and there’s never been this many people in the program, said program coordinator Lori Beauchamp.
“We don’t really have the capacity to keep growing,” Beauchamp said, noting that they are struggling to find volunteers to shovel for all the people signed up.
“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to manage,” she said.
Beauchamp says there are a total of 18 regular volunteers who are paired up with local seniors for the winter and take responsibility to clear access ways. That includes one person who is paired up with six seniors, but paid a small amount through the Helping Handyman Northern Health funded program.
Other than that there are two other on-call volunteers offering to help if and when they can.
Despite the generosity of these volunteer Angels, there are 18 seniors on the wait list this year.
For this last week’s snowfall, Beauchamp says she spent one to three hours each day trying to round up volunteers for the seniors on that wait list.
It’s stressful, she admits, but it’s also rewarding to see the kind of help that often comes through. Terrace Scouts saved the day on Tuesday, she said, noting that they cancelled a regular meeting to shovel snow at the last remaining six houses on the list.
It was similar with the Terrace Bantam rep hockey team back in November, who stepped up with shovels during the season’s first snowfall.
Now, looking at the forecast, it looks like the snow shovelling is not over yet.
Anyone interested in volunteering for the Snow Angels program is asked to contact Lori through the Volunteer Terrace Facebook page or via phone at 250-638-1330.