Skip to content

Angels wanted: City program looks for volunteers to help seniors clear leaves, snow

The program helps residents who can’t do the work themselves
Kelly McCafferty (left) and August Whitefield are ready to clear some leaves. The city’s Angel Program pairs volunteers with residents who aren’t able to clear off their sidewalks after big snow falls. Photo: Tyler Harper

Most angels own a pair of wings. Jordan Martin is looking for angels who own a shovel.

The Angel Program pairs seniors or people with mobility issues with a nearby volunteer who can clear leaves in the fall and shovel snow in the winter off of sidewalks.

A city bylaw requires sidewalks in front of homes cleared by 11 a.m. each morning, but that’s not always possible for residents.

Martin, the manager of the Nelson and District Youth Centre, started the Snow Angel Program last year and had six people assisted by about 13 volunteers. This year they’ve dropped the word snow and extended the program from October to April.

Volunteers can sign up to clear leaves, snow or both.

“They just shove their sidewalk and go about their merry way,” she said.

Martin said one senior who participated last year has already signed up again this year, in part because the program helps her connect with the community.

“She now gets to know her neighbours, and as a resident with mobility issues or if you’re new to the area, you want to get to know your neighbourhood. This is a great way to get to know the people who you’re living around.”

If you need help clearing your sidewalks, email your home address to

Anyone interested in volunteering can email that address as well to be signed up with a nearby residence. Angels have to be physically able to clear debris, have their own shovel and proper clothing, and commit to one home each season.

Martin said high school credit can also be earned by teenagers taking part.

@tyler_harper |
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Tyler Harper

About the Author: Tyler Harper

I’m editor-reporter at the Nelson Star, where I’ve worked since 2015.
Read more