Friday morning’s freeze in Lawrence was a reminder that winter is on its way. In a normal Kansas winter, that means snow won’t be far behind and, with it, the need to shovel residential sidewalks.
It also means that the city of Lawrence is looking for a few good volunteers to help local residents who aren’t able to shovel for themselves.
In connection with tougher enforcement of the city’s snow shoveling ordinance, officials are ramping up the companion program that helps match volunteer shovelers with residents who need some help. Last year, the program attracted 52 volunteers to provide free shoveling services. Each of those volunteers was responsible for shoveling duties at one address in the city. With a total of 42 inches of snow in the city last winter, the shovelers got a workout.
It’s hard to predict what the snowfall will be like this winter, but the city wants to be ready by signing up even more volunteers. To that end they are reminding Boy Scouts and other youth organizations about the volunteer opportunity.
There are any number of Kansas University groups and other youth groups that could pitch in to help at least when school is in session. Taking a team approach to the job could make it even more fun for young volunteers.
Many neighbors step up to help shovel snow for elderly or frail residents, but for some people, the city’s more formal volunteer program is a godsend. It’s a great way for some healthy young people to get some good exercise while performing a service not only for homeowners but for pedestrians who use the sidewalks. We hope the city’s call for volunteer shovelers will draw a strong response.