Sandwiched by the holiday season and fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chantale Garand is finding time to give back to their community.

Sandwiched by the holiday season and fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chantale Garand is finding time to give back to their community.

The West Broadway resident (who uses they/them pronouns) is offering free snow shovelling service to neighbours who are unable to clear snow themselves.

Garand said the idea sparked after walking the snowy sidewalks of the neighbourhood.

"I was having a heck of a time walking home from the grocery store in a single-lane path," they said. "For folks who are immunocompromised, disabled, elderly or having to isolate, this can be life or death."

Garand said the shovelling service is free and any compensation received will be donated to Sunshine House, a drop-in resource centre in Winnipeg.

"Sunshine House has an incredible team of Indigenous people who are always looking for ways to aid folks through harm reduction, food, skill-building, ceremony and queer programming," Garand said. "Through COVID, they have managed to continue this through help from the community — and it’s important that organizations such as this are around."

This isn’t the first time Garand has stepped up in the community. Last July, they collected nearly $2,000 in donations from the community for Bloodvein First Nation residents temporarily displaced by forest fires.

"Community building is something I’m always interested in doing," they said. "Through love, care and lending our skills when we have the capacity, we’re able to lead each other through difficult times."

For now, Garand is doing the shovelling alone (contact via Twitter @chantalegarand), but as more people request the service, friends are available to help.

fpcity@freepress.mb.ca