JC Shovels Volunteer: Brian Perez

I don’t wanna shovel. Ever. Today’s snow was heavy, my feet were cold, and unless I smear vaseline all over my face (I don’t do that. Gross.) my cheeks freeze, making it difficult to talk.

And I’m from Rochester – I have scars from shoveling.

Know who else doesn’t want to shovel? Seniors.

And so, last winter, Jersey City created a volunteer organization called JC Shovels to help them out. Brian Perez, electrical engineer and Ward C resident, is one of the volunteers.

“This is actually my second year participating and I will continue for many more,” Perez told me. “I really enjoy volunteering and helping those in need – especially seniors who do not have the ability to shovel snow. What motivated me to join was the fact that I wanted to help out and become a part of the city that has helped me grow.

“It all started with Hurricane Sandy, when they were looking for volunteers downtown to help residents living in sub-basements. My fiancée, my best friend and I helped a couple of flooded homes. After that, I asked my local fire department if they have a volunteer fire fighter program. When they said they didn’t, I was discouraged. Some time later I saw a flyer about JC Shovels and immediately signed up.

“It’s always a fun experience. You get to shovel snow for a complete stranger who can’t do it on their own. It’s an act of kindness. And it makes the day less stressful for their children who would otherwise have to make time to shovel for their parents. One small act like that can lead to a chain reaction of more kindness and I really enjoy that.”

Posted by

Mel Kozakiewicz a professor, editor, writer, and mother of two.

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