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Cedar Rapids is looking for volunteers to help senior citizens keep their sidewalks shoveled this winter



Jordan Sellergren/Little Village

As the city gets ready for the winter, Cedar Rapids is looking for volunteers for the Snow Buddies program it launched last year. The program pairs senior citizens with volunteers willing to shovel their sidewalks, and “is intended to benefit residents who are not physically able to remove snow and do not have other resources to remove snow, such as neighbors, friends or family, or a hired service,” the Snow Buddies page explains.

Volunteers — or “Snow Heroes,” as the program calls them — must be at least 18 years old and bring their own equipment to the job. “Snow Heroes will not be allowed to solicit or accept money or gifts for their volunteer activities,” the city cautions.

Volunteers agree to clear their assigned sidewalks “within 24 hours after 2 or more inches of snow has fallen in the city of Cedar Rapids.”

The program limits the number of people who qualify to have their sidewalks shoveled, and all this winter’s slots were filled almost as soon as the application process began. “Requests for assistance opened on September 20, 2022 and reached capacity on September 22, 2022,” according to the city.

Those interested in volunteering can apply online to join the program.

Snow Buddies launched last year just as the city’s revised snow and ice removal policies went into effect. The new policies reduced the amount of time property owners have to clear their sidewalks from 48 hours after the end of a snow storm to 24 hours after the last flake falls. Property owners must clear “the entire width of abutting public sidewalks and pedestrian curb ramps.”

Anyone with questions about snow and ice removal can contact the Streets Maintenance Division of the Cedar Rapids Public Works Department at 319-286-5826.


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