Snow Angels spread wings for seniors

Some seniors have been fortunate enough to meet up with angels on their sidewalks this month.

Jason Utz and Kelli Gustafson work their way along a sidewalk along Addington Drive on a snowy evening.

Jason Utz and Kelli Gustafson work their way along a sidewalk along Addington Drive on a snowy evening.

Some seniors have been fortunate enough to meet up with angels on their sidewalks this month.

After a fresh dumping of snow, these tuque-wearing angels have emerged to tackle one of winter’s most annoying tasks.

Snow Angels ­— a volunteer program where everyone is encouraged to be neighbourly when it comes to snow shovelling — have formed in Red Deer.

Earlier this month, the City of Red Deer joined forces with Youth Voice and the Golden Circle to help seniors in need of a hand.

Citizens can call the Golden Circle to offer help with snow shovelling that day. December has brought some big snowfalls this year. A group of students is participating in the Snow Angels program.

Once classes are done at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, Kelli Gustafson is raring to put her biceps to work.

The pint-sized 17-year-old says once the crew gets going, it’s a lot of fun. “We kind of work in an assembly line. We usually have one person who works ahead with an ice scraper,” said Gustafson.

“And then two or three come behind with shovels . . . sometimes we end up playing in the snow in the end.”

After about 10 minutes at one address, they move onto the next. They shovel snow for a two-hour period, from 4 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“It’s so nice to see when the seniors come out and they are so grateful,” said Gustafson. “You feel like you accomplished something, even something really small.”

Hazel Selstrom still shovels her own sidewalks outside her Riverside Meadows home, but at age 88, the job isn’t so easy anymore.

It’s important to get the job done right away after a snowfall because numerous people walk near her place to get to a nearby professional building.

Selstrom was pleased to get a break, thanks to the Angels. And she was impressed.

“I like a good job,” Selstrom said. “It’s got to look good after they are done.”

Bailie Davidson, 16, a Grade 11 student at Hunting Hills High School, finds volunteering as a Snow Angel rewarding.

“It’s good to know you are doing something good for them because they can get ticketed for (not clearing the sidewalk),” Davidson said.

She also enjoys hanging out with friends from Youth Voice, a panel of a dozen youth that advises the City of Red Deer on bullying, curfew and other youth issues. The group also volunteers with various agencies and as one project, performed random acts of kindness.

“Youth do want to be involved in the community,” added Gustafson.

Linda Healing, community facilitator for the city’s Social Planning Department, said Youth Voice is piloting the program and will re-evaluate it today.

Gustafson and Davidson said they’d be game for Youth Voice to continue with Snow Angels.

“This was intended to be a short-term pilot that the youth were doing for seniors referred by the Golden Circle,” Healing said. “The bigger goal was to encourage all people in Red Deer to help out their neighbour.”

She said the program has received a huge response.

The Golden Circle receives six to 12 daily requests for the Snow Angels program.

The Golden Circle also offers a Home Maintenance program where seniors can have their walks shovelled for $15 an hour. Seniors must qualify for this program. For more information on Snow Angels, call Healing at 403-342-8342.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Friday, Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced the province’s plan to reduce surgical wait times over the next two years. (Photo by Paul Taillon/Office of the Premier)
Alberta provides more funding to reduce surgery wait times

The province is working to provide better access to surgeries over the… Continue reading

RDC Queens volleyball players Sydney Rix and Emma Holmes gave blood as part of the Bleed Green Challenge, in partnership with Canadian Blood Services. (Photo courtesy RDC Queens Instagram)
Blood donation: RDC Athletics give back with Bleed Green Challenge

In what has been a challenging year for everyone across Alberta, Red… Continue reading

Eastview Middle School’s Jeremy Spink was selected as the 2020/21 NHL/NHLPA Most Valuable Teacher for February (Photo Courtesy of Red Deer Public Schools)
Red Deer teacher earns NHL’s Most Valuable Teacher Award for February

Eastview Middle School’s Jeremey Spink picked up the honour

Silent protests are being held this week in response to Red Deer Public Schools rejecting a Pride Week in favour of a Diversity Week last month. (Photo courtesy Black and Indigenous Alliance Facebook)
Central Albertans protest Red Deer Public Schools’ Pride Week decision

Central Albertans are silently protesting Red Deer Public Schools’ decision to not… Continue reading

Seniors in the 65-unit Piper Creek Lodge are among those waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Central Alberta senior lodges anxiously waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations

“Should be at the front of the line, not the back of the line”

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

A flare stack lights the sky from the Imperial Oil refinery in Edmonton on December 28, 2018. The federal government is unveiling proposed regulations for its greenhouse gas offset program that will govern how developers can register and sell credits earned through projects that reduce emissions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Proposed federal carbon offset credit regulations raise farmer advocate’s concern

CALGARY — Projects that qualify to sell federal greenhouse gas emission credits… Continue reading

The National War Memorial honouring Canadians who served in the military is shown in Ottawa on Sunday, March 31, 2019. A member of the Canadian Armed Forces has died in Afghanistan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadian soldier found dead in his quarters in Afghanistan: military

OTTAWA — A member of the Canadian Armed Forces has died in… Continue reading

A flare stack lights the sky from the Imperial Oil refinery in Edmonton on December 28, 2018. The federal government is unveiling proposed regulations for its greenhouse gas offset program that will govern how developers can register and sell credits earned through projects that reduce emissions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Ottawa unveils proposed federal carbon offset emission credit regulations

CALGARY — The federal government is unveiling proposed regulations for its greenhouse… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government will keep… Continue reading

Supporters pray outside court in Stony Plain, Alta., on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, as a trial date was set for Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church. He is charged with holding Sunday services in violation of Alberta's COVID-19 rules and with breaking conditions of his bail release. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Judge rules Alberta pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

EDMONTON — A judge has ruled that an Alberta pastor will remain… Continue reading

Image courtesy Creative Outlet
Man found guilty in attack that left Winnipeg teen with hammer in head

WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg judge has found a man guilty in an… Continue reading

Pictured here is Stettler’s Jenner Smith with a guide dog from Aspen Service Dogs. An online auction will be running soon to help raise funds for Jenner to receive his very own service dog later this year. Jenner, who is four years old, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2019. photo submitted
An online auction is planned to raise funds for a service dog for a Stettler family

Jenner Smith, four, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2019

Team Canada third John Morris follows as second Carter Rycroft (right) and lead Nolan Thiessen (left) sweep his rock during round robin competition against Team Newfoundland and Labrador at the Brier curling championship, Wednesday, March 9, 2016 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Champions at The Brier list

Brier champions since the inception of the Canadian men’s curling championship in… Continue reading

Most Read