In preparation for snow storms this coming winter, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is asking Pittsburgh residents to help their elderly neighbors by clearing off sidewalks. The "Snow Angels" initiative is the final of seven ServePGH volunteer campaigns launched since March 2011 by the city to answer President Obama's call to volunteerism.
The Mayor's spokesperson, Joanna Doven, said that the program matches up able-bodied volunteers with people who need help keeping their sidewalks clear this winter. "And those people who we're focusing on are our senior citizens who are no longer able to do that work, and physically disabled residents," said Doven. "So we've reached out through our community and senior centers to residents who we know are disabled and may need help, and we've reached out to them proactively to see if they need this program."
Doven said that to be matched with a Snow Angel, residents must be either 60 or over, or have a physical disability, and lack access to other snow removal resources. She said that they are providing volunteers with melting salt, colored vests, and snow shovels.
She said that 75 people have already volunteered. "We've seen a great response from the Pittsburgh community. We're really not surprised," said Doven. "Pittsburgh has a generation and rich history of Pittsburghers helping Pittsburghers, neighbors helping neighbors. It has not been difficult. In fact, since the Mayor's ServePGH program launched, more than 1,000 community volunteers have mobilized, and that's affected many residents."
Doven said that the program will kick off during the first snow fall. She said that people looking to volunteer can find information about the program at their website.