Watch above: Old man winter has left his mark on the City of Edmonton. Vinesh Pratap and photographer Brad Gowan hit the streets to find out how people are coping.
EDMONTON – Yes, this blast from old man winter tests our patience, but it also can bring out the best in people.
Global News has heard dozens of stories about neighbours helping one another and even strangers offering aid to those in trouble.
Whether it’s shovelling someone’s sidewalk or being towed from a windrow, Edmontonians are stepping up and paying it forward.
The Meals on Wheels organization put out a call on social media after many of its volunteers got stuck on the roads. The group asked for help from people with 4×4 vehicles. Within minutes, dozens of Edmonton residents volunteered their vehicles to pull out stranded volunteers and partner with them to finish their deliveries.
“When we call for help the community always answers,” said Liz Tondu, Meals on Wheels’ executive director.
“We are so grateful to the many people that stepped up and helped us avoid a potential crisis.”
Meanwhile, the Hope Mission is receiving some good will of its own. Starting Nov. 29, the organization will be using Edmonton’s old Remand Centre as an overflow shelter to give those without a home a warm, safe place to sleep this winter.
In November alone, the Hope Mission had an average of over 600 people per night sleeping there, with numbers climbing as high as 645 people nightly. As temperatures dip, the gymnasium of the old Remand Centre will be used to help shelter the city’s most vulnerable during the cold nights.
It’s not just organizations that are on the receiving end of good deeds; individual Edmontonians are too.
One Global viewer emailed to tell us his 80-year-old mother had her driveway shovelled by a neighbour and his seven-year-old daughter.
“Unbelievable,” wrote Starr Durrant, “She barely knows them and the man and the little girl worked non-stop cleaning her driveway to perfection and in fact are still out there and have been for at least 30 minutes or more. My mom is overwhelmed with gratitude – completely overwhelmed.
“These people reflect the best of Edmontonians and are an amazing example to others.”
We want to hear your Good Samaritan stories. Please share them on our Global Edmonton Facebook Page.
“Picked up my daughter from cheer practice and of course got stuck,” shared Tammy Jurijew. “I lost it immediately, then all of a sudden there were cheerleaders behind my car pushing me. Thanks kids! Go Crusaders!”
“Ahh the snow,” Dezi Queeley wrote on Facebook. “It’s a pain but it makes me cheerful because it’s pretty and I feel people are a bit more unified. All these lovely stories inspired me to do some random acts of kindness!”
— Dale J Aceron (@dalejaceron) November 28, 2014
Even an Edmonton bus needed a little boost to make it up McDougall Hill on Friday.
— James A Neufeld (@jamesaneufeld) November 28, 2014