The Snow Angels campaign is a great initiative that encourages people to shovel snow for neighbours who have difficulty doing it on their own. Those who become Snow Angels are shining examples of the strong values and character of Calgarians, people who are committed to looking out for their neighbours and offer a helping hand whenever needed.
Over the last number of weeks, my office has been in contact with Snow Angels throughout Ward 12. The stories they shared are truly inspiring:
Ken began shovelling a neighbour’s driveway after she had a heart attack three years ago. It’s a great way to keep an eye on his neighbour to make sure she’s okay while allowing her to continue living in her own home. For Ken it is about peace of mind to know that his neighbor is doing well. This is just one way that Ken can help is neighbor keep some of her independence and continue to live in her home without the burden of clearing snow.
Havill is another Snow Angel that shares a similar story of helping a neighbour who had recently become ill. Recognizing how difficult shovelling snow had become for her, Havill stepped in. “It’s not a big sacrifice for me, but it means the world to her,” says Havill.
And then there is Sylvia’s story. In 2012, Sylvia’s husband was diagnosed with a rare lung disease. In 2013 he had a double lung transplant, but tragically passed away shortly after the surgery. Throughout the process, she spent countless hours in Edmonton waiting with her husband for the transplant. During the winter months, having a Snow Angel to keep their sidewalks in McKenzie Lake clear was a blessing.
Now on her own, Sylvia is equally grateful for her pair of Snow Angels who are always ready to spring into action whenever the snow starts falling. Sylvia told us about a beautiful relationship that exists in her neighborhood that transcends age, gender and ethnicity. “Younger neighbours and people with snow blowers look out for the older folks and pay close attention to what’s going on in the circle,” she said, adding that if a strange car is at an older neighbour’s home, a neighbour may pop by to borrow a cup of sugar just to make sure everything is fine.
Many Snow Angels are embarrassed to be recognized or nominated by the people they help. “I’m no hero” is something we hear time and time again. “Helping a neighbour isn’t something I think about, it’s just the right thing to do,” they say, noting they’d been helping out long before a Snow Angels campaign existed.
Nonetheless, those are the values that the Snow Angels campaign is designed to celebrate. After all, those are the values that make our communities strong, and make us so proud to be part of them.
If a Snow Angel has helped you out this winter, you have until April 17, 2015 to nominate them to be recognized by The City of Calgary and have their name entered into a prize draw. For more information on the Snow Angels program, or to nominate your Snow Angel, visit The City of Calgary online or call 311.