Snow Brigade digs in to help neighbors in St. Clair Shores

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published December 10, 2021

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — When the seniors served by the Macomb County Chore Program in St. Clair Shores weren’t going to be able to have their snow shoveled in 2020, a local councilman stepped up to help.

City Councilman Dave Rubello solicited volunteers for what he called the Snow Brigade to shovel the walks and driveways of senior citizens and the disabled who aren’t able to clear their own snow.

Even though the Chore Program was later reinstated, Rubello said the brigade remained in place.

“We just kept more people going with the volunteers I rounded up,” he said. “It worked out well. It was very helpful. We probably (helped) ... nearly 50 homes that we were able to do on top of what the Chore Program was (doing).”

Lifelong St. Clair Shores resident Wendy Fick said she was excited to have the opportunity to help others when Rubello reached out via Facebook to recruit volunteers in 2020.

“I always help my neighbors out and hope others do the same, but not all neighbors get help, so this is a wonderful program to offer snow removal for our residents,” she said.

Not everyone has the means to hire help or the ability to clear the snow themselves, Fick said, and she felt that joining the Snow Brigade could be a great way for residents to meet their neighbors.

“Residents are always so thankful (for) the help,” she said. “Snow removal is just not possible for many of our elderly and disabled residents.”

The need for help is even greater this year, Rubello said. He has been able to connect 45 homes in need with volunteers in their neighborhood to shovel their snow. Rubello estimates he needs at least 20 more volunteers, though.

“They would be responsible for that senior, elderly (or) disabled person’s home for the ’21-’22 snow season,” he explained. “Taking care of their snow just like they would do their own.”

Residents are required to shovel the sidewalks when 2 or more inches of snow falls and to have it cleared within 48 hours. That is what Rubello asks of the volunteers in his brigade.

He tries to connect volunteers with those in need on their street or in their neighborhood so it’s convenient for them. Becoming a volunteer is great for students in need of community service hours, as well, he said.

“What a fantastic way to give of your time,” Fick agreed.

To become a volunteer with the Snow Brigade, contact Dave Rubello at daverubello@netscape.net or (586) 489-8117, or message him on Facebook.

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