WIU volunteers shovel snow for classmates

Students shoveled paths to help students with disabilities move safely around campus.

This week students at Western Illinois University cleared icy sidewalks on campus for a good cause.

Students shoveled paths to help students with disabilities move safely around campus.

Liz Lindstrom is happy she's no longer late to class.

"I'm a big attendance person and I know class is important, so when I'm unable to attend things and have to miss quizzes and make all of that up, it's really frustrating to me," Lindstrom said.

Recent snowstorms left campus sidewalks covered with a blanket of slick ice. Conditions that Lindstrom's electric wheel chair couldn't clear.

WIU'S Disability Resource Center came to her aid.

DRC Director, Tara Buchannan, decided something need to be done.

"We conceived a committee to talk about what are some of our options in terms of, um, improving snow removal on campus," Buchannan said.

Buchannan contacted two school organizations to come up with a solution.

"This was one of the ideas that was inspired by the Student Therapeutic Recreation Society," Buchannan said. "Where, we would come together, come out and scout the priority routes and remove problem areas if we could."

Students and facility constructed a map of where students with disabilities traveled.

They scheduled times for volunteers to remove ice at those locations.

Allie Muur is one student that shovels the sidewalks daily. She says volunteer snow removal efforts have been a success.

"I actually think it's been very effective, um, we've so far had fifteen to twenty volunteers show up," Muur said.

Muur says the clear sidewalks have helped students make it to class.

"I think we've helped a lot of them, because we've helped them get to their classes throughout the entire campus," she added.

Lindstrom is deeply moved by students like Muur's kind gesture.

"I've found some good friends here and I'm lucky that they do care about me and my safety," Lindstrom said.

WIU's DRC Department is reviewing the success of the volunteer effort to determine if it should be adopted as a permanent program.

Do you know someone who has shown kindness to others after the storm? Share your comment here or on our Facebook page here.