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City asks residents to be 'snow angels' by shoveling for elderly, disabled neighbors

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  February 11, 2013 02:30 PM

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As Boston digs out from the weekend’s historic storm, the city is reminding residents that clearing away snow is a team effort.

The city took to social media Monday to ask resident to shovel sidewalks, entrances, and other pathways for elderly or disabled neighbors.

“Don't just make a snow angel on your snow day -- be one! Help elderly & disabled neighbors,” read a message from Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s Twitter account.

Residents were encouraged to show off their good deeds by tweeting about it or sharing a photograph on Twitter using the hashtag “#BOSnowAngel

"We know all the kids are home from school today, and a lot of people didn't go into work today, so we wanted to get the word out," said Emily Shea, the city’s commissioner of Elderly Affairs, said by phone Monday. "There’s a lot of need out there, and we just need folks to pitch in.”

Shea said that the city has been hearing from a lot of older residents who are unable to shovel themselves out. She said any home that is still snowed in is likely untouched because the owner is not able to shovel.

"For anyone to feel like they're trapped in their home is very scary, and we want to make sure people have access to the medicines they need, they are getting to the grocery store, and getting out to the things they need to maintain a good life," said Shea.

Shea said residents are especially needed to help after this storm because the amount of snow is difficult to remove and contractors that older residents often pay to clear their properties have many jobs to get done.

“Just grab a shovel, and go out and go to town,” Shea said.

This is not the first time Boston has turned to residents to pitch in.

Last year, the city launched an Adopt-a-Hydrant program that allows residents to select one of the city’s 13,000 fire hydrants and accept responsibility for keeping it clear of snow.

E-mail Kaiser at Johanna.yourtown@gmail.com. For more news about your city, town, neighborhood, or campus, visit boston.com’s Your Town homepage.

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