Duncan volunteer firefighter Josh Van Wieren used his time on standby at the fire hall to shovel the expansive driveway in front of the three huge bay garage doors. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Duncan volunteer firefighter Josh Van Wieren used his time on standby at the fire hall to shovel the expansive driveway in front of the three huge bay garage doors. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Column: Helpers emerge from the snowfall

Sometimes it takes a bit of a crummy situation to bring people together.

What was it that Mr. Rogers said? When bad things happen, look for the helpers? I’m paraphrasing there, not quoting him directly, but you know what I mean.

The snow the other day wasn’t by any means a catastrophic world event. Let’s say that right up front here so I don’t get emails telling me of famine and disease and war and crime and all of that. Yes, I know that happens around the world and even here at home but this column is meant to be a slight distraction from those things, so I’ll continue.

There’s something about the snow that brings out the helpers. It also brings out the idiot drivers but we’ll ignore those folks for now, too. Happy news, think happy news. OK, here we go:

Volunteer firefighters were on hand at halls around the Valley, waiting for the call outs they knew were coming. Duncan’s Josh Van Wieren used the time to shovel the expansive driveway in front of the Duncan Fire Hall’s three huge garage doors.

A gentleman by the name of Clark Achison offered my colleague, Lexi Bainas, his arm to help her across the parking lot in the snow in Lake Cowichan Tuesday morning.

Maple Bay’s Chris Leslie, a big burly bearded guy, it turns out, has a heart of gold. He’s new in town and went online to the Maple Bay Neighbour to Neighbour Facebook page and thanked crews for keeping the roads safe around his neighbourhood.

“On another note,” he wrote, “I have some good tow ropes and a big ol’ truck. If you ever get stuck in your driveway and I’m around I would be happy to help. I would at least try to be neighbourly,” he wrote. “Have jumper cables too if you leave lights on in the car or something. Just send me a message on [Facebook].”

How nice is that? Talk about a good guy to know!

Then there was the bus driver who happened upon Grace Kerrone and her children struggling to get up Kingsview Tuesday morning in the snow.

“She was my snow angel when she came to rescue me, my baby, and my toddler as we were trying to walk up the hill to school and the toddler just couldn’t make it through the snow,” Kerrone wrote in the same Facebook group.

“She saw me struggling with the two kids and came over to us and offered to help me, and she carried my toddler all the way back to our car. She saved us from a lot of tears (though her act of kindness gave me a few!) I am so very grateful!!”

Meanwhile over in Crofton, Liz Maxwell Forbes had a great encounter with a young neighbour boy.

“Early this morning I heard the unmistakable scrape of shovel on my driveway,” she wrote on the Crofton, BC-Around Town page. “‘What are you charging?’ I called. ‘It’s free!’ he said…and then later other younger neighbours were out shovelling other people driveways with much laughter and cheer,” she related.

People were sharing news and updates about road conditions and power outages all over social media. Everywhere I looked there were helpers and it was heartwarming. I’m sure there are a ton of little helper stories out there I know nothing about.

Let me know if you have one to share.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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