BRICK – Calling all able-bodied do-gooders this winter season: volunteers are needed for the Brick Township Snow Corps to help senior and disabled residents shovel snow from their sidewalks, driveways and walkways after a snowstorm.
The program was created by Mayor John G. Ducey after he received a number of phone calls from township seniors after the January 2016 winter storm Jonas dumped over 20 inches of snow in the area.
He said he researched online to see if there were any type of volunteer programs, but only found two others: one that just started in Jersey City last year, and a second one in Chicago that just started a few years ago.
Most of the adult communities in Brick clear the snow out for their residents, but that’s not the case for the elderly and disabled who live in homes scattered throughout the township in different neighborhoods.
“A lot of people were stuck in their houses, there was so much snow they couldn’t get their mail and they couldn’t get their cars uncovered,” Ducey said from his office recently.
In Brick, it is the responsibility of every property owner to make sure that snow and ice is cleared from the sidewalk in front of their home and business. A township ordinance states that snow and ice be removed within 24 hours of daylight after the snow has ceased falling or after the ice has formed.
The mayor recalled a 2014 snowstorm when he was attending a new mayors’ conference in Washington D.C.
Ducey’s son was a toddler, and his wife was unable to go out and shovel and was stuck in the house for three days until her husband came home.
Brick Township Snow Corps volunteers could earn community credits for school organizations, college applications or other organizations, Ducey said.
Volunteers should be ages 16 and over and should be available to provide their services within 24 hours of the end of snowfall. They would only provide services to homes that have been scheduled to receive the services (senior citizens and disabled residents who do not have the physical or financial means) and volunteers would not allowed to enter the homes of people receiving services for any reason. Volunteers would need to have their own snow removal equipment.
“It’s a great thing for younger adults to do when they come home for Christmas break, it’s a way to give back,” the mayor said.
While Ducey said he does not have an exact number in mind of volunteers needed, people have already signed up for the snow-shoveling program, including a father/daughter team.
“The daughter is 11 years old, and that’s fine since she’s with her father,” Ducey said. “He was excited to teach her responsibility and to help people who can’t help themselves.”
If you are interested in volunteering for the Brick Township Snow Corps visit bricktownship.net/snow-corps for an application.
Volunteers under the age of 18 must have a parent/legal guardian sign their form.
For more information call 732-262-4713.