Moving America Forward

How Shoveling a Little Snow Is Doing Big Things to Make This Community Better

December 25, 2013
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How Shoveling a Little Snow Is Doing Big Things to Make This Community Better
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A Boston group brings people together to shovel driveways for those who can't.

A winter wonderland can be a beautiful backdrop for the holiday season. But when it snows, ‘tis also the season for major issues of senior safety across the nation. As the temperature falls, injury risk for older people climbs. Joseph Porcelli’s Boston Snow Crew fights back against a big piece of that risk by using online tools to connect older, ill, and disabled people with volunteers to shovel their walkways and driveways. Porcelli’s idea started as a local project but quickly spread into a far-ranging network, and the effort to make safety a little bit easier has turned into a major community-building initiative. Neighbors who were strangers are now better connected, building “extremely profound relationships on both sides of the equation,” as one leader reports. “What’s so nice about it is that it’s easy,” said one participant. “When you make it easy for people to do the right thing, things get done.”

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