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“Snow Angels” help Madison senior citizens dig out from snow storm

MADISON (WKOW) — By midday Wednesday, Madisonians were left digging out after several inches of snow covered the city in the latest winter storm. Volunteers stepped up to help some people who couldn’t get out to shovel.

At Gloria Maier’s east Madison home, the scraping sounds of shovels could be heard on Wednesday evening.

“I don’t know what I’d do without him,” said Maier as she watched Max Nguyen, a “snow angel,” clear the snow from her driveway and sidewalks.

“It’s an easy way to make a small impact,” Nguyen.

However, the hard work makes a big difference for Maier.

“This seems like little things to the person that’s capable of doing it but to us older folks, these little things turn into big things,” said Maier.

The snow angels are a group of volunteers with Newbridge, a Madison nonprofit that helps the elderly. The volunteers are partnered with a senior citizen and help them with snow removal in the winter and other handy jobs around the house year-round.

“It’s rewarding to me and to Gloria,” said Nguyen.

Maier, 76, has a bad leg and is unable to shovel her driveway. She said she also can’t afford snow removal companies.

“If I fall down, I’d have an awful hard time getting up. Most of my neighbors work so there’s the danger involved in it,” she said.

Doctors urge people who are shoveling to be careful. They say shoveling snow in the cold is more hazardous than most people think.

“They will come in with chest pain, shortness of breath, and it turns out they’ve had a heart attack from shoveling,” said Dr. Christopher Thomas with Columbia St. Mary’s ER as he spoke with WISN-TV in Milwaukee.

Max will likely shovel Gloria’s driveway for the remainder of the season as he makes a difference and urges others to do the same.

“There are people that want to help and make a difference. Even if it’s on a very small, one-to-one scale,” he said.

“He’s my angel, he really is,” said Maier as she smiled. “He’s my savior.”

Hunter Sáenz

Reporter, WKOW

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