Volunteers Make a Big Difference in Storm Cleanup

By: Justin Ware Email
By: Justin Ware Email

Bryan Hotujec is one of the many southern Wisconsinites who probably a felt a little rusty with a snow shovel in their hand.

"Yeah, for the first time in a while actually," said Hotujec, "We haven't had snow like this in years."

The wet, heavy snow is a problem for anybody who has to shovel it, but it is an impossible task for a lot of elderly homeowners.

Just like the homeowner who Hotujec was shoveling for Monday afternoon.

"The woman who lived here said she can't get these things done for herself," said Dianne Leyerle, West Madison Senior Coalition. "If she can't get the things in the house done for herself, then she has to find someplace else to live."

Leyerle is a volunteer coordinator for the West Madison Senior Coalition.

Thanks to volunteers like Hotujec, Leyerle says a lot of seniors are able to live in their homes, independently, a lot longer than they would be able to without volunteer help.

And Leyerle says that means a lot to homeowners and the neighborhood.

"She's been in this house 38 years, that's a long time," said Leyerle, "That's a lot of relationships in the neighborhood, local people she deals with in the stores and things."

For Hotujec, a UW med student, that aspect of volunteering helps him feel more like he's a part of the community around him.

And on Tuesday, that day-after shoveling soreness, will probably help him feel muscles, he never knew he had before.

"It's nice to get out and do a little bit of work," said Hotujec. "If it was easy, it probably wouldn't seem like you were helping as much."

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If you need help shoveling snow or would like to volunteer yourself, call any of these area senior centers:

East Madison/Monona Coalition of the Aging, (608)223-3100

North/Eastside Senior Coalition 243-5252

South Madison Coalition of the Elderly 251-8405

West Madison Senior Coalition 238-7368


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