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The Volunteer Center at United Way of Lancaster County is coordinating a Shovel Squad to help connect those who can't shovel their own snow with volunteers who can help.

Snow shoveling isn’t fun, but it’s often unavoidable, and for seniors and individuals with disabilities who can’t clear the snow for themselves, it can become a dangerous situation.

Not only do some people need outdoor areas cleared to get out of their homes, but residents may also need safe access so that others can get in, like nursing assistance or homebound meal delivery. Additionally, in some parts of the county, homeowners face fines if they don’t clear sidewalks soon after the snow is done falling.

To assist with this slippery situation, the Volunteer Center at United Way of Lancaster County is coordinating a Shovel Squad to help with snow removal in Lancaster County.

One of the most exciting elements of this program is that it will give community members the opportunity to talk to other people in their neighborhoods that they may not have connected with yet. Once these relationships are established, our hope is that they will continue to grow throughout the year.

Someone in need of assistance will just reach out to our office and we will collect their information and add them to our list. Then, when volunteers sign up to help, they will be able to choose the addresses that are most convenient for them to visit and contact those homeowners directly to coordinate.

Volunteers who live in rural areas where it may be more difficult to travel in icy conditions are encouraged to “adopt a hydrant” and check to make sure access to fire hydrants is possible in case of emergency.

Beyond this weekend, it is anyone’s guess how much snow will fall, but there’s still plenty of winter left to get involved. To learn more about our volunteer snow removal program, please visit

Other volunteer opportunities

Here are some other ways that you can get involved in the community:

  • You can help to break down language barriers in providing service by volunteering as a Clare House translator. Clare House is particularly interested in expanding its competency in Spanish. This volunteering opportunity is available virtually or in person. Please call 717-291-8967 or email for more information.

  • The Denver Volunteer Garden Club is looking for help with planting flowers and maintaining the beds at the Denver Memorial Park and the “Welcome to Denver” signs.

  • The club gets together several times in the spring, summer and fall to plant flowers, spread mulch or weed the flower beds. The first meeting this year is at 7 p.m. Monday, March 1, at the Scout House building at the park. Anybody is welcome. If you want to help out, but can’t attend the meeting, contact the Denver Borough office at 717-336-2831 for more information.

  • Volunteering is so important! At Community Place on Washington in Elizabethtown, there is always a need for volunteers to help in the clothing barn and food bank, and with landscaping, residential moves, administration and more.

Sign up and volunteer some of your time at

Nonprofit organizations in Lancaster County are encouraged to publish volunteer needs in this column. For a copy of submission guidelines, or for answers to questions about volunteering in Lancaster County, contact United Way’s Volunteer Center at 717-824-8122 or email

Audrey Lilley is the manager of volunteerism and advocacy at United Way of Lancaster County.

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