Snow Angels

What is the Snow Angels Program?

The Snow Angels program is a free snow removal service for City of Hamilton residents that are low income or eligible seniors and persons with disabilities

Due to overwhelming demand, at this time we are not accepting any new applications for clients needing snow removal. The program only has the capacity to provide snow removal for those clients who were matched with a Snow Angel volunteer last year (2016/2017 winter season).If you have any questions, please contact us at 905-540-5711 or email us at nas@hamilton.ca

Call for volunteers

The Snow Angels program requires volunteers who are willing to provide snow removal service. We are looking for volunteers who:

  • are 14 years of age or older
  • are in good physical health
  • are reliable

Volunteer benefits

Snow Angel volunteers will receive:

  • Winter hat, winter gloves and warm socks donated by Mark`s
  • Matched volunteer appreciation event 
  • High school students will receive a confirmation letter to earn volunteer hours for graduation

Sign up to volunteer today!

To sign up as a volunteer please fill out the online form, call 905-540-5711 or email nas@hamilton.ca.

 

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, remove the snow and ice from the following three areas of your selected residence:
    • City sidewalk immediately in front of residence.
    • The windrow left by the snow plow at base of driveway.
    • Clear 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.
  • Keep track of your volunteer hours so that we can report back these back to City Council.
  • 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 best practices

It is best to :

  • be friendly to clients.
  • spread salt if it is available.
  • follow all safety tips when shoveling.
  • leave if you feel uncomfortable.
  • let someone know where you are.
  • let us know if there is a problem.
  • work with a friend if possible.

It is best not to:

  • shovel after eating a large meal.
  • shovel while smoking.
  • accept food or beverages from clients.
  • give out personal information.
  • enter client's home for any reason.
  • use the client’s snow blower.
  • shovel to the point of exhaustion.
  • continue shoveling if you feel uncomfortable.
  • listen to loud music while shoveling.

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.
  • If 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

  • Own the snow blower. Do not use the homeowner’s snow blower.
  • Read the owner’s manual before starting your 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 If the homeowner has a dog, ask them to keep it in the house.
  • Do not enter the house and do not accept anything from the homeowner.
  • 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.
  • Make sure that someone knows when you are finished for the day.
  • If you are unable to shovel for any reason please contact the coordinator.

Contact us

Snow Angels
Phone: 905-540-5711
Email: nas@hamilton.ca