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How to be Neighborly in Boston this Winter

snow shoveling
Want to be neighborly in Boston this winter? Grab a shovel! / Image: Nicole Hennig via Flickr CC.

Generations of Bostonians are used to enduring low temperatures during the winter months, but nothing could have prepared the city’s residents for the record amounts of show they have received so far this year. “Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said he was at a loss for words Sunday, after yet another blizzard brought white-out conditions and raised snowfall totals to historic levels,” reports CBS News.

Various lines of public transportation have had to temporarily shut down, workplaces have shuttered, and the sidewalks continue to collect more and more snow. Despite the harsh conditions this year, some residents have gone above and beyond to help their neighbors with shoveling, including Joseph Porcelli, founder of Snowcrew.

According to the Snowcrew website, “Snowcrew is the brainchild of Joseph Porcelli who is a Professional Neighbor. Joseph has been helping his neighbors in need get dugout from Snowstorms since 2010. […] Snowcrew is just the tip of the iceberg for neighbors helping neighbors,” of the inspiration behind the network of good neighbors helping residents in their area. Porcelli, who is from the Jamaica Plain neighborhood in Boston, started the site by taking requests for help to shovel out cars, sidewalks, and stoops, and then tasked neighborhood volunteers.

Whether or not you would be up for the challenge of helping your neighbors shovel their walkways and cars buried under feet of snow this winter, it’s pretty remarkable that such volunteer networks exist. For an elderly or disabled person, this act of neighborly kindness means so much.

BetaBoston also notes that even if Snowcrew isn’t active in your Boston neighborhood, there are other volunteer initiatives such as Help Around Town and the “Adopt a Hydrant” project, two programs that help neighborhoods by inviting residents to participate in helping one another collectively. This may be one of the harshest winters that Boston has experienced in some time, but happily, that doesn’t mean that locals have to endure it without the help of caring neighbors.

What do you think about programs like Snowcrew? Would you help shovel out a neighbor in need?