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Friday, March 31, 2023

Snow Angels group connects St. Paul shovels with sidewalks in need

“Angels! There will be snow soon. Please see whether your neighbors need assistance by checking on them!”

The Saintly City Snow Angels’ Facebook group’s administrator and founder, Heather Worthington, posted this as a call to action. The organization, which has its headquarters in Midway, is made up exclusively of volunteers who just want to assist their neighbors clear snow from their driveways and walkways.

In the months before the epidemic in 2020, Worthington and her husband founded the organization after seeing that the sidewalks in their area weren’t being shoveled.

What if we created a Facebook page just for the purpose of connecting those who can help others with others who do not? Worthington recalled inquiring. It is absurdly easy.

The club has 50 Facebook members the first winter. There are now 300. The organization, which began in the Midway area, has already spread throughout St. Paul’s seven wards. The crew received the 2022 Volunteer of the Year Award from the Fort Road Federation.

The procedure is easy. When a neighbor posts a need for assistance in the group, an angel offers their time and shovel in a reply. Worthington and fellow moderator/”angel matchmaker” Melissa Wenzel will step in and facilitate connections if no one offers to assist.

Wenzel stated, “I’m trying to normalize asking for help. During her lunch breaks, she updates the Saintly City Snow Angel spreadsheet at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency with the names and addresses of individuals who are in need of assistance. “It’s okay if you don’t need to explain why you need support. Your needs are exactly that—your needs.

For Midway homeowner Jocelyn Jacks and many others, the Saintly City Snow Angels have been a “godsend.” Jacks is spending his second winter with the Angels.

Jacks grew up in Midway and always experienced a sense of belonging to the neighborhood. She returned to the area five years ago for this reason, among others.

“Everyone here has got your back,” she continued. “If something is wrong, all you have to do is post a message on the neighborhood group, and suddenly someone appears with advice or suggestions on where to find assistance. It’s incredible.

The Saint Agnes School wrestling team has adopted five sidewalks, including Jacks’, who lives next door to the school. After practice, teams of wrestlers will go out to the homes to shovel the snow whenever it snows.

“Family is one of our main topics. Dean Cummings, the head coach for the young team and the assistant coach for the high school wrestling team, described his squad as “a family.” He participates frequently in the Facebook community. By our school, there are residences. We must take care of them since they are a part of our family as well.

His son Johnny, a senior wrestler for the squad, offers to assist with the cleanup after practice. In “five minutes,” the team can clear 20–30 feet of sidewalk.

They arrive, sweep in, hang around for about five minutes, and then go, according to Jacks. “They do such an amazing job, and I’m just so appreciative.”

Another senior on the wrestling team, Daniel Romero, claimed that his teammates had become closer as a result of being a part of Saintly City Snow Angels.

The Saintly City Snow Angels organization, according to Worthington and Wenzel, has spread beyond the Midway neighborhood to other parts of St. Paul. The group administrators were contacted by someone in Minneapolis’ Longfellow area on starting a shoveling group.

Regarding the success of their group, Worthington exclaimed, “It makes me tremendously thrilled.” It’s the most straightforward thing in the world, right? Simply said, it was one of my most satisfying actions to date.

Check out the Saintly City Snow Angels on Facebook if you reside in St. Paul and need assistance shoveling this winter or would want to volunteer.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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