Calamity Day Turns Pay-It-Forward Day

Students clearing snow from drivewayWeather permitting, calamity days are a fun-filled day of wintertime activities such as sledding.

Oftentimes, it’s also a day filled with opportunities to help family and neighbors. It was this model New Richmond Exempted Village School District Superintendent Tracey Miller encouraged students and staff to embrace during a rare Feb. 16 calamity day.

After the storm system from earlier in the week delivered snow, sleet and ice to the New Richmond Schools area, Mr. Miller asked students and staff to pay it forward on the calamity day by shoveling/clearing snow/ice from cars, driveways and walkways. He also suggested students check in on elderly neighbors and relatives who might have difficulty shoveling.

The superintendent’s challenge was accepted by many in the community, some even shared photographs of their day of service.

Coach Patrick Burke was the first to share a photograph on Twitter embracing the Superintendent’s challenge and expanding it. “I got outside and got active shoveling driveways! Team 66 Let’s see your TEAM challenge pictures,” he tweeted.

Student clears snow from pathway to barn.Amy Wiebell shared that her husband, Mike, received a call from an elderly neighbor. She was snowed in and unable to get out to feed her cows. 

Mr. Wiebell sprang into action with the help of his son, Owen. They dug out the neighbor’s plow, hooked it up to the tractor and Mr. Wiebell cleared away snow and ice from the driveway. Owen used a shovel to clear a path from the driveway to the barn.

Ben Schuster was busy most of the day. With a plow hitched to his quad, he helped his neighbors by clearing snow and ice from driveways and sidewalks. He wasn’t the only one to put a utility vehicle to use. Conner Fouss cleared the family driveway with his family’s quad. And teacher Tina Grippa’s husband, Eric, used his all-terrain vehicle to clear the driveway for his in-laws.

Student shovels snow from sidewalkThroughout the day families shared photographs of students helping their parents and neighbors with snow removal efforts.

Brody and Avery Bock worked together with their dad to help clean off the driveway... again. Travis Jenkins paid it forward by shoveling snow.

“I’m proud of all the students and staff who braved the cold and snow to pay-it-forward on the calamity day,” Mr. Miller said. “I appreciate all of the photos that were shared with us. I know there were others who were also out there helping their family, neighbors, and friends. Thank you all for your good efforts. You can never go wrong by being kind and extending a hand to help others.”

To see a photo gallery of the good work of the above-mentioned calamity day heroes and others visit our Facebook page:

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