Volunteers shovel driveways for elderly, disabled

Help is on the way. Volunteers are shoveling driveways for people who are elderly or disabled and can’t shovel themselves.

The snow storm had Barbara Johnson stuck in her home for a week.

“[I was] just going to the mailbox and back in the house,” Johnson said, but then she started to run out of her medication.

“I usually can shovel my own snow but this I couldn’t do, it’s a little bit too much for me,” she said.

That’s where Jacob Perez comes in. He saw our report Monday night and wanted to help.

“It was important because I think you know, I need to help the community out and you couldn’t get out of this driveway,” Perez said.

The city of Topeka wants to make it easier for people like Johnson and Perez to connect.

“A volunteer partnership is what we’re working toward for this next year in 2014 is to create that,” said Captain Darin Scott with the Housing and Neighborhood Development Office, “basically that hook up between those folks so that we get the need placed with the service and then we can match it up.”

He says there’s already interest in the program.

“Eagle scouts, high schools, we have several groups in town that are wanting to get involved in that,” Scott said. “We’re going to put them all, working in this data bank off of our website and then we can work those up into a volunteer partnership program.”

Since the snowstorm last week, the city has received almost 40 calls from residents who are elderly or disabled and in need of help. The goal is to clear each of their driveways this week.

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