Wild snow storms, crushing ice storms, and blowing wind storms all bring unique beauty and tremendous challenge to NeighborLink. Sunday's snow storm was beautiful to watch as the snow came down in sheets with very little wind. It was the snow storm you dream about when thinking about a white Christmas and Hollywood attempts to portray in all their snow scenes. However, it brought us 12 inches in most areas, which as we have seen can shut down a city. Combine that with record cold, we have a difficult situation.
The 12" of snow is a perfect opportunity for NeighborLink volunteers to shine by loving their neighbors with very little effort. However, the cold prevents volunteers from being able to help out like they would without it. The challenge is that there are countless seniors and those with disabilities that still have to get to work and still have to get to doctors appointments. The beauty and potential crashes with the challenges hard to overcome.
I wish it was just snow that our neighbors faced, but the cold has brutalized already fragile housing stock for many low-income neighbors. We're hearing of exploding pipes, shut down furnaces, and homes that were not able to fend off the negative temperatures without some bruises. We'll figure out how to help, but the project list will continue to grow. We hope the volunteer efforts grow as well.
On the positive side, many have braved the cold to help where they could. We got about a dozen projects done yesterday. We also were able to receive over $600 in donations to help with snow removal that we'll hire crews to help with. We appreciate the efforts by those that understand the severity of the situation for some and are willing to make small contributions that add up.
We also have a volunteer who built a remote control snowblower who has been getting national media attention because of it. He even went out and did a few projects with it. That just makes things fun! You can watch it in action below.