INNISFAIL – The town has come up with a new and creative way to attract snow angels to help out older residents who may be physically unable to remove winter snow.
Challenged with attracting volunteers for its own Snow Angles program, the town discontinued it last year and directed citizens in need to the new national Snow Angels Canada program. The new national program connects community volunteers with residents who may not be able to clear snow from their property during the winter months. Innisfail FCSS staff have committed themselves to help residents needing the service with a smooth transition.
However, the town has not totally given up on finding local volunteers.
Karen Bradbury, the town's community and social development coordinator, said her Innisfail FCSS office is hoping they can still attract community volunteers through “random acts of kindness” with a new sign program.
The town’s new ‘Snow Angels Welcome’ signs have already been given to several residents for them to display in their windows, front steps, balconies or yards. This will indicate, said Bradbury, that a Snow Angel is welcome.
“There is a Snow Angels Canada program that is available. We are not doing the one-to-one matching,” said Bradbury, noting the challenge with the past local program was attracting enough volunteers to meet the need in town. “We are hoping that when volunteers or neighbours or friends see the sign, they will recognize that a senior might require some support with snow removal, and will just randomly go and do it. We don’t have to be the go-between with matching it.
“This way we are hoping to get more random matches of kindness because it is hard to get a volunteer to commit to six months of snow removal,” she said.
Bradbury emphasized a volunteer does not have to commit to any lengthy period of snow removal, and can just “pop here and there” and help residents when they are available.
“Maybe they have 20 minutes here and there when they are willing to support a resident,” she said. “We are hoping it gives us a few more options, and we are hoping for more engagement that way.”
In the meantime, Bradbury’s office will still help seniors without access to a computer to register with the national Snow Angels program. From there, the national program will match them to a volunteer.
The national Snow Angels program can be accessed for registration at snowangelscanada.ca
If any citizen would like a Snow Angel sign and information package, contact the town's FCSS coordinator at 403-227-3376 (ext. 233) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.