December 13, 2016
ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Isabel Park, left, and Tessa Cogliano have started a program to shovel snow from the walkways of senior citizens who live in Swampscott this winter.
By GAYLA CAWLEY
SWAMPSCOTT — Local nonprofit For the Love of Swampscott is working to ensure the town’s elderly and disabled are not trapped inside after a snowstorm this winter.
The group is starting Snow Angels, a program that pairs neighborhood volunteers with elderly or disabled residents to assist with snow removal.
Tessa Cogliano, treasurer of For the Love of Swampscott, said the group talked about starting the program last year, but they didn’t have a full handle on the need for snow removal assistance in the community. She said there’s been interest from the Swampscott Senior Center and a few more people reached out about needing help.
“We realized that there really wasn’t anything (similar) in the town and we wanted to do something to help the elderly and the disabled get out after a storm,” Cogliano said.
Through dialogue with seniors, she said the group found that it’s hard for them to leave their homes after a storm because they don’t want to slip and fall. Being trapped inside can cause isolation and loneliness, Cogliano said.
About 18 people have requested help so far. Cogliano said the group sent out a letter to the neighbors of the people who asked for help and let them know the person needed assistance after a storm.
For the program’s beginnings, the group is looking to the neighbors to act as snow angels, but there have been several people inquiring about volunteering. The work would include shoveling driveways and walkways.
“We’re looking for people to look out for one another,” Cogliano said.
Gayla Cawley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.