The Town of BWG has launched a “Snow Angels” program through which members of the public are encouraged to volunteer their time to shovel snow for neighbours who may be less able to do so. People who receive such help can ask the Town for a recognition package to pass along as thanks.
What is a snow angel?
Snow Angels are good neighbours who help clear others’ driveways and/or walkways of ice and snow during the winter months. Their actions are voluntary and there is no formal registration or organization process.
I'm a resident who has been helped by a Snow Angel:
Let us help you thank your Snow Angel!
Please scroll to the bottom of this page to complete and submit the form. Provide your name, address and email, as well as the name (at least a first name; full name if possible) of your Snow Angel and an explanation of how they have helped you personally. You will receive a recognition package in the mail within two weeks that you can give your Snow Angel to say thanks! (Some restrictions apply; see bottom of page for details.)
I'm a current or potential Snow Angel:
Why clear snow for a neighbour in need?
- It feels good to help your neighbours.
- If you are a high school student, your assistance to a senior can be counted as community involvement hours.
- It’s a great way for neighbours to get to know one another.
- When driveways and walkways are free of ice and snow, it helps everyone in your neighbourhood go about their daily activities safely and without fear, and supports their ability to live independently.
What does a Snow Angel do?
Almost anyone can be a Snow Angel. All you need to do is:
Choose one or more neighbours you’d like to help. When you’re out and about in your neighbourhood, keep an eye out for neighbours who could use a hand.
Wait for the snow to fall.
Grab your gear. All you need is warm clothing, a shovel or snow blower, and salt or sand to apply where needed (or use the homeowner's if offered).
Lend a hand. You can help your neighbour clear as much or as little snow as you like. You can help with clearing a driveway, walkways and/or the windrow (the snow left behind by the snow plow).
How to ask neighbours if they need help:
Often Snow Angels don’t ask, they just help. That’s what makes it so neighbourly! So, if you feel like it and are able to do so, just go ahead and shovel for a neighbour without saying anything.
However, you may feel more comfortable helping if you’ve chatted with the neighbour first. It’s also a nice opportunity to get to know one another a bit more and even develop new friendships. You also never know - the person you help with snow removal, may be able to help you with something you need someday!
Here are some sample phrases and wording to try out when making that first contact/connection:
- "My family/I enjoy being outside and getting fresh air, even in winter! We were wondering if we could lend you a hand with snow shovelling this winter."
- "I/we would like to help you out with snow removal this year. Would that be okay with you?"
- "Some people in our neighbourhood are pledging to help others out with snow removal when possible this winter. Would you like to be on my/our list?"
Remember: safety first!
Helping someone shovel their driveway and sidewalk is a kind gesture but please remember to take precautions for your own health and safety too. Here are some helpful tips:
- Stretch before you shovel
- Wear layered clothing to stay warm
- Use an ergonomic-shaped snow shovel to help reduce back pain
- Lift with your knees, not your back
- Clear ice and snow as soon as possible to prevent build-up
- After removing snow, apply salt/or sand where necessary
- Know your limits - do not over-exert yourself or risk your own health
Thank you to the City of Kitchener for sharing their Snow Angels guide.
* A snow angel is not a person living at the same address at the nominator.
** Limit of one gift package per recipient per winter.
*** Limit of one gift package per nominator/address per winter.