A new winter snow shovel service will be available in Cache Valley this year, thanks to Utah State Universities’ Val R. Christiansen Service Center and Cache Community Connections.
“Someone mentioned, 'oh, did you know that there's a real need in the community with people with disabilities and, and people who are senior citizens that need help shoveling, their snow from their sidewalks?'” said Nelda Ault-Dyslin.
Ault-Dyslin is the community service coordinator at USU’s service center. She said the idea really connected with her because when the center began 50 years ago, raking leaves was their first project. From this the Community Rakes & Shovels service was born.
And even with COVID, the outdoor nature of the project should help participants to stay safe.
“This can be done on a single person scale, it can be done on a family scale, roommate scale. And you can maintain distance,” said Ault-Dyslin. “And we also will do all the coordination on the back end, so that you don't necessarily need to knock on the door of the person that is requesting the services, we give you all that information.”
The program is open to community members and students. Volunteers register their availability and seniors or those with disabilities register to request a service and provide information for the volunteer, like where to place leaves or if they have a dog.
Rakes and shovels will be provided by the center and people are welcome to contribute extra ones.
“We’ll be closed around Christmas time. But because of this long, long break, we surveyed the people that have been using the pantry, and we've been feeding 250 or 260 people a week,” Ault-Dyslin said. “And many of them said that they're still going to be here, they're deciding not to travel. So yeah, the pantry will be open, which means that rakes and shovels will be available.”
For more information about the Rakes and Shovels service, including access to volunteer registration or service request forms, visit: https://www.usu.edu/servicecenter/rakes_and_shovels