After a snowfall in Montgomery County, sounds of snow plows and snow shovels hitting the pavement can be heard across the county. However, how do the elderly get rid of the snow on their driveways and sidewalks? An option can be receiving help from the student volunteers in the Snow Angels program.
Every year during the winter, students from Takoma Park Middle School go to houses in the city of Takoma Park and shovel snow for those who need help. These students are in the Difference Makers club, which performs community service across the city. The Snow Angels program was started by the club in order to help those who could not shovel snow themselves, notably the elderly and the disabled.
Bryan Goehring, the club’s teacher sponsor said, “Snow Angels was started when a representative from the City of Takoma, Karen Maricheau, asked if we could help shovel about 20 houses for some elderly residents. We agreed to do that. The idea was that if we could provide general maintenance and yard care for the elderly and disabled that they could continue to live independently and remain in their homes.”
During the huge snowfall of March 2015, the Snow Angels began receiving publicity for their efforts. They were featured on local news stations including the Takoma Voice, My MC Media, and WTOP and officially teamed with the city’s Lifelong Takoma program. This new recognition led them to a grant awarded by the Takoma Foundation that provided for the purchase of shovels and other equipment.
After two years, the program has expanded from 20 houses to about 80 houses. Currently, there are already 35 volunteers for the program, and Mr. Goehring expects there to be 50 volunteers by the first snowfall of this school year.
The Snow Angels program is a great way to give back the community and teach students the importance of helping others. Mr. Goehring stated, “My favorite thing about snow angels is to watch the community come out and support one another. This is truly the meaning of community.”
Richard Montgomery sophomore Tesia Shi, a former member of the Difference Makers club, said, “Although the Snow Angels includes a small portion of the club, because they have to live near or in Takoma Park, I think it did make an impact in the community.”
The Snow Angels program is a great example of students uniting together for a good cause.
Article by MoCo Student staff writer Justin Zhang of Richard Montgomery High School