MINNETONKA, Minn. (FOX 9) - A local nonprofit urgently needs help with snow removal services this winter.
Senior Community Services, a nonprofit based in Minnetonka, is asking for people who can help shovel the homes of participants in its Household & Outside Maintenance, or HOME, program. The participants are 60 years and older and many of them are on a fixed income.
"If you're snowed in and you can't get out to the doctor's appointment, or if there was an emergency, it can be a really isolating and kind of scary feeling," said Jon Burkhow, director of HOME for Senior Community Services.
The nonprofit, which is affected by staffing shortages like many other organizations, needs between 30 and 40 volunteers and paid employees throughout Hennepin County, especially in Bloomington. They will get paired up with a senior citizen and shovel every time it snows this winter.
"We have a huge waitlist, unfortunately, with people who aren't getting helped, so they're kind of left scrambling," Burkhow said.
The nonprofit took its urgent plea to Facebook writing, "It's more than just shoveling snow. This service creates safer home environments, offers social interaction, and provides peace of mind for loved ones and caregivers."
The organization helps people who are elderly with home maintenance. The goal is to help them stay in their homes.
"The alternative is they have to move out, and they don't want to. We've had folks that live in their home for 40, 50 years, and that's where they want to stay," Burkhow said.
Though the volunteer work is seasonal and not a one-time commitment, it's a chance to help a neighbor down the block.
"I think it can also be a lot more rewarding because you get to know the person. We've had volunteers that have come back 1, 2, 3 or more years doing snow removal for the same people in their community," Burkhow said.
Volunteers can come with a friend and even bring their children. Burkhow has even taught his 9-year-old daughter, Evelyn, how important his work is.