A real-life snow angel: Laval man rigged his truck with a snowplow to help neighbours in need

A real-life snow angel: Laval man rigged his truck with a snowplow to help neighbours in need

Not all heroes wear capes. As Kevin Di Fruscio's neighbours have come to learn, some of them drive snowplows.

Since a major storm blanketed much of the province in heavy snow over the holidays, Di Fruscio has been circling his souped-up truck around Laval's Duvernay neighbourhood looking for neighbours who can use a hand digging their way out.

"We look for any house that's really piled in, that your car won't be able to go in or out of," said the Good Samaritan.

"We look for people with shovels, not snowblowers — elderly people that we don't want them to force too much."

Di Fruscio said he and his girlfriend keep their eyes peeled and offer their services free of charge.

"Not [everyone] could afford these snow contracts or have people to help them out," he said. "That's when we decided like, 'hey, let's give back to the community and let's give them a hand.'"

Rowan Kennedy/CBC
Rowan Kennedy/CBC

Duvernay resident Emilio Panetta said it's easy for older people to be stuck inside when there's too much snow to shovel. That's why what Di Fruscio does is "very, very neighbourly," he said.

"I wish there were more neighbours helping each other," he said.

Di Fruscio said he and his girlfriend first began giving back to their community last year — walking as far as their legs would take them and using a snowblower and shovel to help clear people's driveways.

WATCH | Di Fruscio takes it upon himself to help his neighbourhood: 

When cookies, Christmas cards and thank-you letters began popping up on their doorstep in the middle of the night, Di Fruscio said, he realized the true weight of their service.

"We realized how many people were grateful and how many people we'd actually touched," he said.

This year, warnings of a fierce winter storm — one that ended up snowing people in and knocking out power for thousands of Laval residents over the holidays — prompted him to up his game.

Di Fruscio bought a 2004 Chevy Tahoe for less than $1,000 with the hopes of turning it into a snow-clearing machine. And while he moonlights as a snowplow driver, luckily, he daylights as a mechanic.

"I had to do brakes all around, brake lines, gas line, shocks, you name it," he said.

Rowan Kennedy/CBC
Rowan Kennedy/CBC

Once he got the truck up and running, Di Fruscio and his girlfriend were out morning to night on Christmas Eve removing snow from people's driveways. He said, in the end, they cleared at least 100 homes — and most with grateful owners.

"They were running out of their house to shake our hand, trying to give donations, trying to give us a bunch of stuff," he said, adding they refused all forms of payment.

"They were just so grateful. I mean, the love and support we received from our community is unbelievable."

While the good deed was initially meant to take place solely over the holidays, Di Fruscio said it got so much attention that he's going to keep at it all season long. He's also hoping to get other people onboard for seasons to come in order to expand the free service.

Di Fruscio said it's a way to keep the Christmas spirit alive and remind people "that there's still people out there that are willing to do good for each other."