About the Snow Angels Program
The Snow Angels program is a volunteer-driven snow removal service for low-income seniors and/or people with disabilities who live in the City of Hamilton to ensure the safety of the residents and their caregivers. Volunteers remove snow from a resident’s sidewalk, windrow, and path leading to their main access door. Volunteers do not remove snow from driveways.
Due to overwhelming demand and constant volunteer turnover, we are still not accepting any new clients needing snow removal. Currently, the program is trying to match only those clients who were matched with a Snow Angel volunteer last year (2019/2020 winter season).
Call for volunteers
The Snow Angels program is always looking for volunteers who are willing to provide snow removal support. We are looking for volunteers who:
- are 14 years of age or older
- are in good physical health
- are reliable
New Snow Angel volunteers will receive:
- Winter hat, winter gloves and warm socks donated by Mark's
- Volunteer hours for high school students
Volunteer job description
You are the best judge if you should shovel snow in the neighbourhood you have selected. If there is 3cm of snow or more, you have 24 hours to complete your shovelling.
Volunteers must agree to:
- Follow the suggested safety tips and remove the snow and ice from the following three areas of your client's residence:
- City sidewalk immediately in front of the residence (and along the side of the house if it’s a corner lot).
- The windrow left by the snow plow at base of driveway.
- A pathway (wide enough for a wheelchair or walker) to the main entrance of the house.
- Notify the Snow Angels coordinator immediately if you are unable to shovel for any reason.
- Always respect the resident’s property.
- If you are a student, please have the form completed and presented to the Snow Angels coordinator in a timely manner for it to be signed for your community service hours requirement.
- Not have any personal contact with the resident.
- Not, under any circumstances, go into the resident’s home.
- Not accept any money, food or drink from the resident.
Volunteer snow removal program - Safety information
Should you shovel snow
While shovelling can be good exercise, the proper safety measures should be taken before participating. You may want to check with your doctor if any of the following apply to you:
- History of heart disease/attack
- High blood pressure and/or high cholesterol
- You are a smoker
- Individuals who are NOT routinely active
The scoop on snow shoveling
The National Safety Council offers the following tips to help you practise safe shovelling:
- Do not shovel snow immediately after eating or while smoking.
- Take it slow! Shovelling can raise your heart rate and blood pressure significantly, so pace yourself. Be sure to stretch out and warm up before beginning to shovel snow.
- Push the snow as you shovel - it is easier on your back than lifting.
- Don’t pick up too much snow at once. Use a small shovel or only fill about half of a larger one.
- Lift with your legs bent, not your back. Keep your back straight; by bending and “sitting” into the movement; this will keep your spine straight and less stressed.
- Do not work to the point of exhaustion. If you run out of breath, be sure to take a break if you feel tightness in your chest, stop immediately.
- Dress warmly. Remember to cover your hands, nose, ears, and feet with extra layers to keep them warm. Make sure you wear a hat, scarf, gloves and water-proof boots.
Using a snow blower
- Please do not use the homeowner’s snow blower.
- Read the owner’s manual before using your own snow blower and make sure you have read and understand all of the recommended safety steps/tips.
- Ensure that all people/objects are clear out of the way before you begin. Do not aim at chute at passing pedestrians or vehicles.
- Keep hands, feet, and clothing away from the snow blower motor.
- Do not leave the snow blower unattended while it is running.
Personal safety tips
- Leave a list of your assigned addresses, time leaving, and expected return time with someone in your household.
- Do not take anything of value with you and do not carry a lot of money
- If you have a car, make sure you park close to your assigned area
- Be familiar with the area; know where the closest public phone can be located or make sure you carry a cell phone with you.
- Know where the nearest public washroom is located.
- Stay in the area you have been assigned - in case of emergency, it will be easier to find you.
- If you are working in pairs, make sure you stay together.
- Have plenty of fluids with you to stay hydrated.
- If the homeowner at any time is making you feel uncomfortable, leave immediately. Do not engage with the resident. Notify the Snow Angels coordinator as soon as possible. Do not feel like you have to stay and finish the job.
Email: [email protected]
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