By Jaxon McGinn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Sunny South News
The Town Of Coaldale’s Snow Angel Program is all about neighbours helping neighbours. The key to building a strong community starts on your street and with the people that live around you.
Since the first snowfall of the season in southern Alberta was on Friday, many residents might have difficulty shovelling based on their physical ability. The Town of Coaldale had introduced the Snow Angel Program which helps many residents get the help they need if they are uanble to shovel their driveway or walkway. This program was introduced to Coaldale in the fall of 2017.
“I think we had an elderly member of the Gem of the West Museum Society, and she would come here quite often, and she had a walker, and she would walk in the museum, and there was a quite heavy snowstorm one time, and she had just mentioned that she wasn’t sure how she was going to get her sidewalks clear because she was still living in her own home at that time and we were chatting a little bit, and I think that’s how we got the idea going,” said Cindy Hoffman, manager of community services in Coaldale.
The Town of Coaldale is looking for energetic and motivated individuals who are willing to volunteer their time to help the community members who may be unable to keep their driveways and sidewalks clear of snow during the winter season. To be a snow angel, all you have to do is adopt a neighbour’s sidewalk and keep it clear when it snows. Watch for elderly members or individuals with mobility issues in your neighbourhood who could use the help.
Through snow removal, the Town of Coaldale will clear snow and ice from the major routes through a significant snowfall. The town provided snow removal for residents based on a route priority system. High priority areas include all routes used by emergency vehicles and access to a local school.
“This is all strictly volunteer based, so I kind of manage it internally here, so I’ll take phone calls from people needing assistance and from people who want to provide assistance, and then I will match them up, and then I just send out the addresses to the snow angels, and then they take it from there, so there’s no cost for people needing assistance, and then these wonderful snow angels are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts,” added Hoffman.
Based on the Town only providing major walkways and roads, many residents require help during a snowstorm for their sidewalks and driveways, so when the town had first introduced the Snow Angel Program to the residents of Coaldale, there had been a call volume of 14 residents’ requests for a snow angel. Still, they only had ten volunteers during their first year, so many residents didn’t get a snow angel that year, but many members were happy that the town had introduced a program like this.
For further information about the Snow Angel Program, you can visit the Town of Coaldale website at coaldale.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org.