Dorothy Jones and her 100-year-old mother moved from Mission into their Oakridge home in September 2013, three months after the massive flood that year. When the first snow fell, Dorothy was trying to shovel the snow from her driveway when Peter Exner, a neighbour from across the street, came over and offered to shovel for them. Dorothy was surprised at his offer because their driveway is long, but Peter was already familiar with their long driveway and saw it as another reason to lend a hand.
“Peter shovels every time it snows,” Dorothy says. “He even shovels the snow off my porch, which I think is over and above being a Snow Angel. We do not have to worry; it is always done. He’ll even return multiple times a day if snow continues to fall.”
Access Calgary picks up Dorothy’s mother a couple of times a week to take her to volunteer. The bus comes before 9 a.m., so it’s important the snow is cleared for her mother’s safety and for the bus to have proper access.
As a musician and stay-at-home dad, Peter is fortunate to be home in the mornings. He is a firm believer in reciprocity as a way to be a good member of a community. Being a Snow Angel is one way that’s allowed him to connect with neighbours and build a sense of community among them.
Oakridge is a southwest Calgary community with a mix of generations and culture. Residents pride themselves on living in a pocket of the city in which neighbours know each other. Peter cultivates that same sense of community within his own family. His two young daughters will often come out to help shovel. Even though they may spend more time making snow angels than shovelling, Peter sees that their participation gives them a sense of belonging in their community, and sets an example of what it means to be selfless in service to others.
As Peter’s Snow Angel nominator, Dorothy expresses her gratitude for having “a neighbour you can have trust in and rely on.”
If you’ve been on the receiving end of a Snow Angel’s generous care this winter, nominate them for recognition by April 17, 2015. Learn more about becoming a Snow Angel and how to nominate a Snow Angel here on calgary.ca.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.