Our guest blog post is written by Joseph Porcelli is Senior City Strategist and "Professional Neighbor" at Nextdoor.com, the free and private social network for neighborhoods. Prior to joining Nextdoor, Joseph has worked in many professional capacities for Public Safety Agencies, in tech firms that support them, and in volunteer capacities to improve quality of life and increase safety and resilience in communities. In his free time, Joseph serves as the lead organizer for SnowCrew.org, which he founded as a community project in 2009.
When I first started Snowcrew in Boston back in 2009, I was using a google form and a google map to collect and then plot shovel requests my neighbors submitted. I would spend about 8-18 hours a day each time it snowed trying to get help for about 20 people.
Today, thanks to SeeClickFix, over 3,200 volunteers Yetis have done their best to fulfill over 910 shovel requests submitted via Snowcrew.org from ME to VA all the way out to MN.
What most people don't know that the "partnership" between SeeClickFix and myself is based solely on our shared commitment to be there for and love our neighbors.
Ben and the SeeClickFix team built Snowcrew.org because they wanted to support my mission to prevent people lives from being endangered by snow storms and to provide and opportunities for neighbors to be of service to each other. I had no way of funding this mission, but thanks to their generosity, I did not have too. They just stepped up because they are awesome!
Then there is you, our INSPIRING, rugged, and kind Yetis!
When others are sitting at home catching up on Netflix episodes or warming up after shoveling out their home or vehicle, you are out Shoveling. You, our Yetis out there braving the cold, snow covered slippery streets ensuring your neighbors are not trapped in their homes and can get to the pharmacy, doctors appointments, and to work. Because of you, those who request shoveling assistance can receive the care they need at homes to stay healthy, can get the mail that often contains a social security check on which they depend. Because of you, those who need help shoveling no longer feel hopeless or forgotten. You Yetis are their angels!
There are countless stories of neighbors who had no one else to turn to but you. For example, last year, Nancy and her Husband from Northern NJ were trapped in their home for over a week until you dug them out. Marilyn from Boston was moved to tears when she was dug out last week.
Thanks to SeeClickFix, and our Snowcrew Yetis, hundreds of people received the critical help they needed to remain healthy and employed. In addition, the kindness they have received has transformed their anxiety and tears in gratitude and smiles.
Your grateful and humbled neighbor,