Back in 2009, after hearing that then-Mayor Cory Booker was shoveling out neighbors in need, I got an idea. What if I could replicate his effort and coordinate multiple neighbors getting shoveled out simultaneously using technology — thus, the first version on #Snowcrew was born using Google maps.
In 2015, while driving from DC to Boston and back shoveling out neighbors in need during my (not so famous) #Snowcresade, I realized that while my efforts were noble, I only addressed the symptom of the more significant problem — neighbor disconnection. Neighbors surrounded every person I shoveled out, but they did not know their neighbors and told me asking for help made them feel too uncomfortable.
Today, powered by Nextdoor, neighbors, since they are connected (and kindness is our jam at Nextdoor), can ask for and offer help shoveling or for whatever they need at the moment.
Below is the 2022 plan for #Snowcrew now powered by Nextdoor.com (where I work). Over the years, while there have been super neighbors (like James) who will drive across a city or county to shovel our neighbor in need, the vast majority of people who get and offer help shoveling live near each other. As 1 in 3 households in the US uses Nextdoor, the chances of getting help or someone taking you up on your offer to shovel are dramatically increased.
Below is how to participate in #Snowcrew in 2022!
If you have not already joined your neighborhood’s Nextdoor network, please install the app or sign up here.
❄️ To ask for and offer help shoveling, post a message on your neighborhood’s Nextdoor news feed by clicking this link – https://bit.ly/NextdoorSnowcrew and be sure to select “Your neighborhood” or “Nearby neighborhoods” and NOT “Anyone” for where your post appears. ❄️
By following the steps above, you will notify the neighbors closest to you who are the ones most likely to help or take you up on your offer. Please do not offer or ask for help shoveling by replying to this post, as I’ve shared this message state-wide, and neighbors will likely be too far away.
Please also remember that this is a neighbor-powered volunteer effort, and participation is voluntary. There is not a list of #Snowcrew volunteers – neighbors need to offer and ask for help shoveling each time it snows.
Please note that offers to help shovel on the Help Map and in the newsfeed need to be free of charge per Nextdoor’s community guidelines. Service providers may, however, respond to requests for snow removal services. To learn about the designated spaces for neighbors and organizations to sell products and services such as snow removal, click here.
As you go about shoveling please do so safely — about 11,500 people visit the emergency room every year due to snow shoveling injuries.
⚠️ Below are tips to help you shovel safely ⚠️
✅ Dress warmly and in layers
✅ Stay hydrated, drink lots of water
✅ Snack on complex carbs
✅ Take breaks every 5 minutes
✅ Shovel small scoops of snow an inch or two at a time
✅ Lift with your legs – not your back
✅ Shovel every few hours to keep the snow from piling up
When shoveling sidewalks and curb cuts, please shovel the width of at least 36 inches (or the width mandated by your municipality) to allow people who use wheelchairs and mobility aids to pass safely. Don’t forget to shovel out fire hydrants as extra seconds save lives.
Please also consider shoveling out:
• Occupied and empty accessible parking spots
• Fire hydrants
• Curb cut
• Storm drains
• Bus stops
Stay warm and shovel safely!