Joseph Porcelli, Founder and Volunteer Organizer
857-222-4420 – @JosephPorcelli
Snowcrew.org Founder Seeks to Inspire People to Shovel Out Neighbors in Need
Hamilton NJ: 2/16/2014: Yesterday, Joseph Porcelli of Washington DC, drove 250 miles on a #Snowcrewsade to shovel out neighbors in need who requested shoveling assistance through the website Snowcrew.org. Joseph made two stops yesterday, one in Columbia MD and another in Northeast Philadelphia. Today, beginning at 10 am, Joseph will continue his #Snowcrewsade digging out an elderly woman in Somerset NJ who cannot has been climbing up a pile of snow to get her mail and another elderly woman in Longbranch NJ who cannot get to her car.
Joseph will be shoveling at the following locations and times:
- 10 am: 48 15th St in Franklin NJ – Snowcrew case – http://seeclickfix.com/users/373886
- Noon: 51 Bath Ave in Longbranch NJ -Snowcrew case http://seeclickfix.com/issues/938296
- Other locations as shoveling assistance requests come in
Throughout the day, Joseph will be live tweeting as @JosephPorcelli and posting stories to facebook.com/snowcrew.org where you can also learn about the two women Joseph shoveled out yesterday.
What is Snowcrew?
Snowcrew.org is a mobile optimized web app that connects people who need help shoveling with nearby neighbors “Yetis/Volunteers” who can and want to help dig out their neighbors after snowstorms.
Where does it work? Everywhere!
How does it work?
Each time it snows, whomever needs help shoveling log into www.snowcrew.org and request “Shoveling Assistance.” Those who have signed up to help get notified that a neighbor (s) needs help. They can also “scout” to see who needs help via Snowcrew.org on their mobile phone or device of choice.
“Yeti’s” shovel out people who are not physically able to shovel or cannot afford to hire someone to dig them out.
How can you get involved?
- Go to snowcrew.org and create a profile to volunteer or request shoveling assistance
- Help us spread the word by RTing our tweets and sharing our facebook updates.
- Share this post to your networks
- Shovel out cars parked in and empty handicap parking spots
- Check in our neighbors who are elderly and have disabilities
What difference to Snowcrew Make?
For the elderly and people with disabilities, snowstorms can mean being trapped at home unable to get to work, to the food store, to the pharmacy, or have the mail delivered. It can mean that for days, you’re stuck alone in your home fearful of what might happen and that the stability of your health and life might be compromised.
- Snowcrew helps keep people healthy and financially sound – When shoveled out, people can get to work, the pharmacy, the food store, and to medical appointments. Social security checks, medications and medical equipment are delivered.
- Snowcrew increases resilience – When communities are connected and in service to each other they are stronger and better poised to prevent, respond to, and overcome challenges and disasters.
- Snowcrew eases the burden on government – Citizens who have time and wish to pitch in dig out publicproperty such as fire hydrants, handicap ramps and curb cuts, and bus stops that increase accessibility and improve quality of life.
- Snowcrew fosters connection – Those who request and give shoveling assistance enjoy new connections,friendships, and experiences.
Who do people who have been helped by snowcrew say?
- “I’m blown away; I have never received help like this from strangers before, and I’m honored to now call them my neighbors. So my deepest and heartfelt thanks goes out to all of you”. Nancy, Hardyston NJ who was trapped in her home for 4 days following a storm in February 2014.
- “Just wanted to thank you and Bob for helping me as a neighbor to clear my car so I could make it to my doctor’s appt. It made an important difference”. Marcia, Jamaica Plain, MA Feburary 2014
- “Someone came to help! thank you!” Michelle, Lincroft NJ February 2014
How did Snowcrew Get Started?
Snowcrew got started in 2009 when I realized one my widowed elderly neighbors might be stuck in her home during huge storm we had. The first version of Snowcrew used a Google map and a Google form. After I learned about former Mayor Cory Booker digging out his constituents after receiving a constituent tweet, I wanted to see if I could build on former Mayor Booker’s success by using technology to allow neighbors to engage each other online to get shoveled out simultaneously and in multiple cities and towns at the same time. Today, Snowcrew.org accomplishes this goal!
What technology powers Snowcrew?
Two leaders in government digital communication and Open Government power the Snowcrew.org solution. SeeClickFix built and operates Snowcrew.org and via it’s API powers the “shovel request” submittal, “scout” mapping, watch area notifications, commenting and case management system. For neighborhoods where municipalities and community partners wish to formally adopt Snowcrew or are clients of GovDelivery, GovDelivery provides neighborhood and municipality specific automated emails and text message notifications when shoveling assistance requests are submitted.
About Joseph Porcelli:
Joseph serves as the Director of Engagement Services at GovDelivery where he leads the team that builds digital communities and gets people to take action accelerating engagement for priority government programs and campaigns. Highlights of their projects include FEMA’s National Preparedness Community found online at http://community.fema.gov and the Digital Engagement Crime Prevention program for Stearns County MN that in 2013 increased crime tips submitted to the county by 533%. In his free time, Joseph voluntarily leads organizing efforts for Snowcrew.