The program pairs volunteers with neighbors who are unable to shovel the sidewalks adjacent to their properties.
AURORA, Colo. — Whenever it snows, different jurisdictions in the Denver area have different rules about snow removal. In Aurora, residential property and business owners must remove snow and ice within 24 hours after a snowfall ends. If a snow emergency is declared by the city, they have 48 hours to clear the sidewalks. Otherwise, they could get charged.
The city of Aurora’s Snow Busters program pairs volunteers with neighbors who live within three miles of them and have limited financial resources or are incapable of shoveling their sidewalk after a snowfall due to age, disability or other conditions.
Volunteers commit to helping one person for one snow season.
So far this year, nine people in need have successfully been connected, with 14 applicants not yet matched.
On average, the program receives two to three applications each week from people seeking assistance.
But Chad Angell, the city’s volunteer program coordinator, expects demand to continue growing.
“And it’s especially tricky because we’re trying to pair volunteers within that three-mile radius, so that means we need tons of volunteers all over the city,” Angell said.
He hopes to triple the number of volunteers. They currently have 10.
“We find more and more people needing help shoveling snow, so the need for volunteers is bigger than ever,” he said.
Jason Schneider did his first round of shoveling for the home he’s assigned to help on Thursday.
“Two birds, one stone and we get to do a good cause, right?” he said. “Easy enough to get out here and help others.”
Schneider hopes for more volunteers too, and acknowledges the feeling of fulfillment when he finishes his work.
“The feeling you get from being able to help, it really warms ya on a cold day like this,” he said.
Applications for help are not usually denied, Angell said.
Background checks are completed on volunteers to filter out those who have a criminal record.
“Because we’re not on site supervising those volunteers, we just want to make sure the safety of the volunteers and applicants are out there,” Angell said.
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