Yesterday, we posted about an individual who voluntarily shoveled out a snowbound car on East Seventh Street between Avenue A and Avenue B... and left behind a typewritten note suggesting that if the car owner wanted to show his or her gratitude, he or she could make a small donation to Ollie's Place/Mighty Mutts Animal Rescue on East Ninth Street...
And here is the car that the person shoveled out...
Last evening, the resident shoveled out another car in the neighborhood and left a similar, typewritten note...
We tracked down the resident and asked a few quick questions about his or her actions...
On what made them decide to do this:
I like shoveling snow. I know that sounds a bit weird, but I’ve always liked shoveling snow. During [Saturday's blizzard], I shoveled out my car, some friends' cars ... and some other places. I actually put an ad up on Craigslist offering free snow shoveling services to those who were unable to do it themselves but didn't get any responses. So [on Tuesday], I just grabbed my shovel and found a car that was deeply buried and figured I would just shovel it out, which I did.
When I got home, I realized that maybe the person might want to know who shoveled out their car so I quickly typed up the first note, and put it on the car. I added the part about Mighty Mutts because I have been volunteering there for a long time and I’m always trying to find new ways to help them out.
On the use of a typewriter:
I used a typewriter because my printer doesn’t work, I have bad penmanship, and I like my typewriter.
On continuing the service:
So far I think I have done four cars with this type of note, and will try to do a couple more before alternate-side parking starts again.
I didn’t put much thought into this before doing it. But while doing it I started thinking it would be a good fundraising project for Mighty Mutts or any charity. People could sign up to have their cars shoveled and volunteers could go shovel to help raise money. The beginning of the year is always difficult because it is harder to raise money and people have already donated to charities during the holidays, but the operating expenses don’t change.
Shoveling snow is one of the only things I get to do that has a clear start and a clear finish, it is exercise, and I like to think it’s a good way to make someone’s day. Whether or not they want to donate is irrelevant — it’s a simple way to do something nice.
We also mentioned that the post attracted a lot of comments here and on Facebook. Overall, people were impressed and thought it was a nice act of random kindness. However, there was a contingent who found this note and gesture guilt-inducing and passive-aggressive.
We asked the resident about this.
"I guess I could understand how it could be seen as passive-aggressive. Maybe I worded the notes improperly, but that was never an intention. I really don’t want anyone to feel obligated to pay for something they didn’t ask for. I would rather they just enjoy having their car shoveled out without having to even think about it."
Previously on EV Grieve:
There is an anonymous, animal-loving snow shoveler in the East Village