MILWAUKEE — Snow shoveling isn't fun, but it's often unavoidable, and for seniors who can't clear the snow for themselves it can become a dangerous situation. Marck Pichler has been a volunteer with the Eras Senior Network for 4 and a half years. And every snowfall he spends his day helping seniors or those with disabilities in need of shoveling snow from their driveways and sidewalks.
"Part of being a Christian is helping others and everything and helping your neighbors," said Pichler.
Currently, Eras has nearly 2,000 volunteers that help seniors meet their basic needs in Waukesha and Milwaukee counties. And one of the biggest needs they see during the winter season is shoveling snow.
"It is a huge need and we constantly get phone calls asking if we can help. Removing snow and ice in the driveway helps keep a senior safe, it helps ensure that they don't slip and fall," said Eras Development Director, Heather Uzowulu.
Volunteers with the non-profit are often paired up with a senior in close proximity to where they live so they can get to them as quickly as possible to remove the snow. Organizers say this service is crucial to ensure seniors have access to all the services they need.
"For folks who are receiving home-delivered meals or groceries, it really helps ensure that they can continue to receive those services which might not be able to be delivered if there's snow where ice in the driveway," said Uzowulu.
But volunteers also say the shoveling service gives an opportunity for kids to see the impact helping other people can have on the community.
"My daughter comes with me quite often to do shoveling and salting. I've got my kids kind of involved and they see that and they want to do good for their neighbors then too," said Pichler.
Eras has about 1,500 seniors who are currently receiving direct services from volunteers, but the organization is always in need of more help. If you'd like to find out how you can join the team click here.