A Strathcona County non-profit lacking volunteers for their snow removal program is getting help from a local hockey team.
Snowbusters, a program run by Volunteer Strathcona, is aimed at helping low income families, seniors, and people with disabilities.
"We have confirmed just over 50 houses right now, 20 of whom don't actually have a volunteer," program director Cristina Rathjen said.
Rathjen said there would have been more homes without volunteers this year if not for the Sherwood Park Raiders, a U-18 team with the Sherwood Park Minor Hockey Association.
"We ask for a lot of help throughout the community with our town team and fundraising," said 16-year-old Luke Mitchell, who plays centre for the team.
"We started our own fundraising and we got good records back for that, and we thought we would get back to our community by helping shovelling."
The service is needed desperately in the community, as many applicants are old and prefer to age in place.
Rathjen said an 80-year-old applicant with cancer wants to be able to stay in her home.
"She has medical help coming in every day and she wants that snow cleared for her nurses as they come in."
She said she is glad the team was able to step in.
Volunteers are asked to shovel within 72 hours of snowfall. Groups are typically given a few homes to take care of.
Defenceman Josh Annett, 17, said the team will split into groups to cover more ground.
"We're hoping by dividing to get at least seven houses — most needed done — and branch off if we have time available," he said.
Josh Arnett's mother is on the team's social committee. She said the group's actions don't surprise her at all.
"I think it just gives a very solid example of what it means to be a leader in the community," Sherri-Dawn Annett said. "These boys all live here and they're contributing members of the society and they're proving it right now."
Rathjen is hoping more people are inspired to help out with the program.
"We will take any and all help," she said.
"It might seem like something really fun and easy — and it is — but at the end of the day, it is a massive impact for many of these people."
CBC Edmonton is sharing stories of kindness and giving in our community, as part of the Make the Season Kind campaign.