ShareThis Page

Volunteers needed to shovel walks for Lower Valley seniors

Tawnya Panizzi
| Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Ron Silvasy clears snow off walkway at his home on Delafield Road in Aspinwall.
Jan Pakler | for The Herald
Ron Silvasy clears snow off walkway at his home on Delafield Road in Aspinwall.

Anyone looking to burn a few calories, work outdoors or just help a neighbor can sign up for the North Hills Community Outreach Snow Squad.

The group is seeking volunteers to help shovel snow for senior citizens throughout the Lower Valley.

“Volunteers are urgently needed,” said Jen Kissel, NHCO director of communications.

There are about 375 senior citizens who have requested help throughout Allegheny County, Kissel said.

Though the region has escaped a major snowfall, there have been a number of smaller storms that add up to even more work, Kissel said.

“The phone lines have been ringing off the hook with requests from seniors desperate for help but very few volunteers are registered,” Kissel said.

She did not have a clear number of how many participants registered for the Snow Squad.

Founded in 1987, North Hills Community Outreach exists to help the needy with food, utility assistance, education, job searches or other services.

Snow Squad is an expansion of the former Pittsburgh-based Snow Angels program.

Snow Squad is a county-wide program of Open Your Heart to a Senior, an initiative of the United Way dedicated to helping seniors live safely and independently in their homes. According to its website, Open Your Heart to a Senior is a partner with North Hills Community Outreach and other organizations.

“Helping an elderly or disabled neighbor by shoveling their snow is such a simple way to say “I care,” Kissel said. “It lets the person know that someone is watching out for them by making the driveway and walkway safe for caregivers, meal delivery people and postal workers to get to the house.”

Volunteering is open to teens who need community service hours, youth groups and able adults.

“It makes you feel good to provide this physical task that might be impossible or dangerous for your elderly neighbor to do,” Kissel said.

To volunteer, call 412-307-0071 or email

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.