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For snow shovellers, Kindness Kounts

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A Simcoe woman has thought of a way to help the community make the most of the winter weather.

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Jeni Lambert-Bowyer, an admin of the Kindness Kounts Facebook group, has created a new page to help those in need of having their driveways shovelled connect with those willing to volunteer their time and energy.

“The whole concept of Kindness Kounts from the beginning has been to bring the community back to being a village,” she said. “We used to look out for our neighbours, help each other shovel our sidewalks … that’s always been the concept.”

Lambert-Bowyer decided to make a new Facebook page where people could connect with those either in need or willing to help. She has named the new page Southern Ontario Snow Buddies 2020-21.

“It’s the best of both worlds. You’ve got all of these kids going stir crazy, they want to get out of the house, they want to have playdates but they can’t,” she said. “There’s no better way than to have a snow shovelling playdate, either you and your sibling, or you and your buddy, you can shovel a driveway, have fun, wear your mask.”

Lambert-Bowyer said she used to go to subdivisions with her kids where they knew some of the seniors and spent their mornings shovelling the driveways in the area.

“There’s so many people around with nothing to do,” she said. “So, why not take care of one another with that boredom?”

Members of the Facebook page can post where they are willing to shovel, or where they are located to be shovelled.

“So many of us are focusing on the bad things that have happened as a result of the pandemic,” she said. “I just think there’s an opportunity. We need to focus our energy on the things we can do.

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“Use it as an opportunity to get to know your neighbour, and then when spring hits we’re going to know everybody again. I think it’s that reset that we need. There is a life outside of your cellphone and this is a great way to start connecting with people.”

She specified the group is only for those willing to volunteer their time, not looking to be paid for services.

Other rules of the group include using hashtags to denote the town you’re in and whether you’re looking to help or for help. She also asks members not to post their address publicly, and to only share it with someone offering to help via personal messages.

The page can also be found at facebook.com/groups/408010693858768/about.

Another program, run by the Haldimand-Norfolk Community Senior Support Services is also running. To sign up for that program call 1-866-529-0849 ext. 104 or email kwiseman@seniorsupport.ca.

Both of the programs are able to sign off on volunteer hours for high school students.

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