When our Age Friendly South Portland Committee first started brainstorming projects for the 2020-21 winter season, we knew that we wanted to try to help our city’s older adults navigate the cold and inconvenient weather conditions with ease.

A year before, we started the Sand Buckets for Seniors program as a way to provide five-gallon buckets filled with sand to residents hoping to make sidewalks around their homes less slippery. But that program implied that those same residents had a way of first shoveling the slippery sidewalks to make them clear enough to sprinkle the sand.

And thus was formed the Snow Shoveling for Seniors program. But there was a catch; while we knew that residents would be interested in receiving the snow-shoveling service, we weren’t sure if there would be enough volunteers willing to provide the snow-shoveling service.

After all, shoveling your own walkways after each storm is hard enough work.

But then folks from around the city started submitting their applications to become volunteers. And we were suddenly overwhelmed with gratefulness of and pride in our city’s residents. The fact that these individuals would be willing to bundle up at a moment’s notice, or find a friend to watch their children, or put aside their job’s work to shovel walkways around the homes of residents who really needed the assistance following weather events resulting in “more than a dusting of snow” – well, that’s truly amazing.

So, thank you, our snow-shoveling volunteers. Our program wouldn’t have been a success without you.

We at Age Friend South Portland, as well as our program’s snow-shoveling recipients, are incredibly thankful for your service.

Chad MacLeod is co-chair of Age Friendly South Portland.

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