This Morning: Volunteers needed to shovel snow for senior citizens and those with disabilities


With more snow on the way this week, one local organization is looking for your help when it comes to shoveling.

As most of us know here in mid-Michigan, shoveling ordinances can take effect within just 24 hours.. but for senior citizens and individuals with disabilies it can be hard to get out and shovel.

Which is why the city of Lansing has a program to help, but right now there’s only one volunteer.

Digging.. scraping.. that sound most Michiganders dread waking up to.

But it’s a job Mark Pierce II says he doesn’t mind.

“My favorite part are the phone calls saying thank you, that makes it all worth it,” says Pierce.

Pierce is what’s called a “Snow Sergeant.”

Shoveling sidewalks, driveways, porches, and ramps for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities in the city of Lansing.

“This is what I’m talking about.. all this slush,” he says as he’s digging through ice.

Pierce braves the cold and removes snow for about 40 Lansing residents signed up through the Disability Network Capital Area.

“Just stop by stop, go out get out of my truck and get to shoveling,” says Pierce.

Right now, he’s doing all the work by himself.

“Umm it takes me about 2 days to do,” says Pierce.

While he says it’s not easy, Pierce knows snow can be an immobilizing force. Trapping elderly and those with disabilities inside or worse.. creating hazards when forced to go out.

Why he, and others are asking for the public’s help.

“The success of this program, is absolutely dependent on the volunteers,” says Kellie Blackwell.

Blackwell is the Program Manager of Community Engagement at the Disability Network Capital Area.

She says she knows first hand, just how challenging creating pathways can be.

“For someone like myself, I do have some vision. So if you think of snow, for myself, I mean you’re seeing nothing but white,” says Pierce.

A scary situation, she hopes others will understand.

Choosing to volunteer along side Pierce this winter.

Click here to learn more about Snow Sergeants.

The “Snow Sergeants” program applies only to residents in the city of Lansing.

Anyone can volunteer, but there will be a background check first.

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