BONNYVILLE – The call has been put out once again for Snow Angels to offer a helping shovel after each snowfall.
“A Snow Angel is somebody who sees one of those that signs that say ‘this sidewalk needs a Snow Angel’ and picks up a shovel and cleans up a sidewalk,” explained David Beale, director of community services with the Bonnyville and District FCSS.
About 40 signs are available for Town of Bonnyville residents who may need a hand when it comes to clearing snow. Residents living in hamlets throughout the MD can also participate and put a sign in their yard.
“In those hamlets, I may be making assumptions because I happen to live in Fort Kent and we generally know our neighbors a little bit more in the small villages, but they’re available (for those communities),” detailed Beale.
Beale stressed anyone who needs a bit of help can have a sign.
“We do make the signs available to any person who might need assistance cleaning their sidewalk,” noted Beale, adding, there’s a wide variety of people who have requested a Snow Angel’s help.
“Generally it’s seniors, but it could be a disabled person or it could be somebody with special needs.”
A common misconception around the Snow Angels program is that someone in the community can call and order a helper to come whenever they need it.
“We don’t have an army of Snow Angels waiting to be dispatched,” Beale said. “This is a community spirit exercise. If you see a sign in your neighbourhood and you have a shovel, pick it up and shovel the sidewalk... We used to know who needed help in our neighbourhoods, that’s not so much the case anymore, so this just helps people know where somebody’s living that could use a hand with their sidewalk."
When asked why Beale would encourage residents to adopt a sidewalk this winter, he said because "it’s the right thing to do."
“Not everyone has the capacity to get out and shovel their own walk for whatever reason and we don’t judge the reasons. If somebody tells me they can’t do it, we believe them. It’s an honour system and we’re just looking for people who are wanting to be neighbourly.”
Being a Snow Angel is also one of the few activities that won’t be impacted by COVID-19 regulations.
“The coronavirus restrictions don’t apply to Snow Angels. You’re going to be outside, masked and wearing a scarf. You’re not in contact with anybody else, so it’s the perfect way to volunteer during the pandemic,” Beale expressed.
Anyone interested in picking up a sign can call the Bonnyville FCSS at 780-826-2120.