Shoveling help, volunteering chances available in area cities

This Jan. 4, 2017 image shows a snow-covered neighborhood in the Bayview area of Norfolk. (Credit: Sarah Acosta).

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Need some help shoveling out of your home or apartment once the roads clear up?

Or are you looking to lend a helping hand to those in need?

Operation Blessing International is organizing area volunteers to help shovel snow in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, as part of their “Snow Buddy” program held in partnership with the City of Norfolk Emergency Management and the City of Virginia Beach.

Teams with Operation Blessing have been out since the snow stopped, lending a hand to people who may have trouble shoveling or clearing off their cars.  Today, 10 on Your Side joined volunteers as they worked in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.  Most of the volunteers had never worked with Operation Blessing before, and the coordinators are thrilled they joined.

“To know that we have volunteers that are willing to put time they could be at home with their families aside to come out and help their neighbors.  It’s incredibly inspirational, it’s rewarding to see people sacrifice their own time because many people are off work today,” said  Jody Gettys, Vice President for U.S. Disaster Relief for Operation Blessing.

Residents who need help with snow removal can call 757-284-9183 for assistance beginning at 10 a.m.  Operation Blessing says priority will be given to the elderly, sick, disabled, single mothers, those dealing medical conditions such as cancer and diabetes, or others needing assistance. Residents must be home at the time volunteers arrive to sign a work order allowing volunteers permission to be on the property.

“Just the satisfaction of being able to get to your car if you need to get out, and I don’t need to get out,” said Chesapeake resident Kenneth Johnson.  “It’s a God-sent gift to get the gentlemen out here to you know knock the snow off and help us out.  We appreciate you so much.”

Volunteers will need to meet in the Christian Broadcasting Network’s parking lot at 977 Centerville Turnpike in Virginia Beach prior to the 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. shifts. Operation Blessing will provide snow shovels, lunch and a free Operation Blessing t-shirt. For more info on volunteering, call 757-793-1837.

Shifts will continue daily at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. as long as necessary.

For more information, or to donate to the effort, head to www.ob.org.