For the last seven years, Summit Neighborhood Association members Britt Page and Tom Schmeling have led a winter army, bundled in coats and armed with shovels, known as the Snow Brigade. The team, comprised of local volunteers, helps disabled and elderly neighbors with snow and ice removal from driveways, walkways, and front steps.
At the start of the season, a list of neighbors requesting help is matched with a set of volunteers based on proximity; they work in teams, trading off two-week shifts so that nobody is committed to the entire winter. This year, says Page, the brigade is serving nine households and working with about 20 volunteers. “These past two seasons have been the first we’ve seen teenagers ask to volunteer,” shares Page.
The group has also received phone calls from other neighborhoods and organizations looking to start a snow brigade; recently, Providence Village launched its own volunteer snow shoveling program. From both shovelers and shovelees, the response and support has been positive. Says Page, “It means a lot to people that their neighbors are helping out.” To volunteer with or request the services of SNA’s Snow Brigade, email SNASnow@gmail.com.