More than 70 Snow Angel volunteers have been out in force shovelling snow from public walkways after a snowstorm swept through Vancouver this week, but the City says more help is needed.
The neighbourly volunteer program, run by the City of Vancouver, helps ensure snow and ice is cleared from pathways in front of homes to make life a little easier and commuting safer for everyone in winter, primarily the elderly and people with limited mobility.
Up to 266 calls for help to clear snow came through to the Snow Angels program on Wednesday alone and Darcy Wilson, director of client services, said despite an incredible effort there just weren’t enough volunteers to handle all the requests.
"This year we have 78 volunteers that are registered with us, we would really like a lot more. We would like another 100 [people to sign up] because the requests are outstripping our volunteers,” Wilson told Vancouver Is Awesome.
"Out of the 266 calls we were able to get to 132 of them. We are still chipping away at those numbers."
While the snow in Vancouver has eased off, for now, Wilson said it was important to bolster volunteer Snow Angel numbers to finish the current clean up and to prepare for future snowfall.
“We could really use some more volunteers in the next 24 hours and that will get us ready for the next snowfall,” Wilson said.
Temperatures will start to cool again this afternoon with a 40 per cent chance of rain and wet snow showers. Periods of snow mixed with rain are also forecast for Friday morning, changing to rain showers near noon. The rain will continue through the weekend and into next week.
The City’s storm response remained focused on snow and ice Thursday, with hundreds of staff clearing the sidewalks at curb ramps and bus stops.
“At the same time staff are clearing the catch basins in anticipation of any potential flooding over this weekend which has rain in the forecast," the City said in a statement.
Wilson thanked all the volunteers for their efforts but reiterated his call to get more people on board with the Snow Angles program.
“There are always more requests than we have volunteers, so we are always looking for more people to come and look after their neighbourhoods,” he said.
He encouraged people who couldn’t sign up, to instead take a few minutes to look around their neighbourhoods and see if anyone was in need of a little help clearing their pathways when it snows.
“If you notice someone hasn’t been able to clear their walkway just go over and do it for them. We are just asking neighbours to help neighbours,” he said.
“Let’s just be good to each other and make it safe so people can enjoy the snow.”
Go to Vancouver Snow Angel if you’d like to become a volunteer and a coordinator will then reach out.
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