Elderly Snow Shoveling Program to Continue; Begun by Retiring Joan Sheedy


By Carol McCracken  (Post # 2,516)

A snow shoveling program for the elderly population of Portland is getting a second life according to a press release issued by the city of Portland this afternoon.  The Office of Elder Affairs, with help from volunteer coordinators in Portland neighborhoods, will match Portland residents who are aged 65+ or have physical disabilities that make snow shoveling difficult with volunteer groups and individuals willing to shovel.

This announcement comes on the heels of Joan Sheedy, 80, who began the program ten years ago, retiring from the program.  A Munjoy Hill resident, Sheedy, saw the need and dedicated herself to organizing the program.  Sheedy who kept careful records of her clients once said that she even checked obituaries for potential clients. The program was so popular that it often overflowed into other neighborhoods of the city – wherever the need was-Sheedy was.  But earlier this year she said she wanted to hand it off to someone else.

To request snow shoveling assistance or to volunteer, please contact one of the following individuals, depending on your location:

Deering                         Leah Koch 207 – 239-7051,

East End                        Molly McCarthy 857-204-6856,

West End                        Wells Lyons  207-274-1221,

Back Cove                      Carol Colton  207 – 899-3092 – or 508 – 728-1296, and for other neighborhoods and more information, please call LInda Weare, Office of Elder Affairs, City of Portland 207 – 541-6620.

Volunteers are asked to shovel the steps and a path from the front door to the sidewalk as well as the stretch of sidewalk in front of the property.  T\hey are not asked to shovel the entire driveway or clear snow from roofs.  The idea is to create a path which allows the senior citizen, emergency responders, Meals on Wheels delivery people, mail carriers and other visitors to get in and out of the house safely.

Once a volunteer receives an “assignment”, they will shovel for the same residents after each storm throughout the winter.