Help for snowbound seniors

Snow Buddies program will help seniors to dig out this winter. Stock Photo

Carmen DeRose wants to help seniors dig their way out of driveways

The snowy season is upon us.

And Thorold Coun. Carmen DeRose, who also teaches at Monsignor Clancy School, said he’s organizing a Snow Buddies program in Thorold.

“I already have three elderly people in need,” he stated at a council meeting Tuesday. “I’m presently using Grade 8 students from our school to shovel driveways.”

Last year, DeRose spoke with the Thorold News about the origins of Snow Buddies in Thorold.

“When I was knocking on doors” (during his 2018 election campaign), he said, “I ran into a lot of elderly people who were worried they were going to get fined by the city” for not shoveling their snow.

“It’s really sad to see how many elderly people still live in their homes, which is what you want,” but often, they become isolated in the wintertime.

Having heard of the Snow Buddies program at school, he said, “We circulated forms” to students at Monsignor Clancy.

“It’s also great for high school kids,” he added. “They can get their community service hours” by digging out a neighbour’s driveway.

As coordinator of the Snow Buddies program, Darlene Upper matches volunteer snow shovellers with seniors and adults living with disabilities.

Not only does the program prevent falls—which can be devastating for seniors—it enables them to get outdoors more in the winter, as well as stay in their homes longer.

Unfortunately, however, there are not enough volunteers for Thorold seniors on the current waiting list for the Community Support Services of Niagara program. Due to the high demand, they can’t take any other applicants for the program at this time.

Anyone who can shovel snow can volunteer, Upper told ThoroldNews. Adults and teens as young as Grade 6 are eligible to apply, she said, with parental approval.

“The Snow Buddies program is a great opportunity for students to gain volunteer experience, receive community service hours and help out in their community. I get a lot of phone calls from seniors who are very appreciative when they have a Snow Buddie,” she said.

According to Upper, volunteers will also receive a reference from CSSN for their resume.

In addition, the program affords students the opportunity to develop communication skills, she said.

“In some cases, students bond” with their designated senior.

Upper makes every effort to match volunteers with seniors in their neighbourhood. The clients provide the shovel and salt; the volunteer does the rest.

Anyone who wishes to volunteer is asked to call Darlene at 905-682-3800 ext. 35, or email

Volunteer shovellers can also contact DeRose by emailing

Snow Buddies Niagara CSSN Facebook Page

Article originally posted here.