Jersey City volunteers sign up to help senior citizens shovel snow

Hundreds of Jersey City residents have signed up to volunteer to help senior citizens dig out of the snow.

The program JC Shovels was an idea that started last winter in the city. It matches volunteers with senior citizens or people who are ill who cannot shovel their driveways and walkways.

Mayor Steven Fulop says that many people have signed up to help since the program began last year.

"It speaks to the community spirit. We have a couple hundred people who signed up to help senior citizens shovel out the front of their house," the mayor says.

Legal assistant Patrick Boyle says that he may have had a snow day Thursday, but he wanted to help out instead of sitting indoors. 

"I like it because it's in my city and I get to help people who would otherwise have to pay someone, and a lot of these people I'm sure live on fixed incomes," he says.

News 12 New Jersey caught up with Boyle while he was shoveling the driveway of Jersey City resident Raza Anwar. Anwar has lived in Jersey City for 30 years, and his wife is battling some health issues.

"It's a wonderful program that the city is doing for a senior citizens and those people who are very sick like my wife, who has cancer," Anwar says. "She's very, very ill, so I really appreciate it."

Jersey City requires sidewalks to be cleared within 24 hours of a snowfall, so many say this program helps those who cannot do the work.

The volunteers received a shovel and salt to help get the work done. They are not allowed to accept tips, and they are not allowed inside the seniors' homes in order to protect them.

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