Snow Go

Volunteer based snow removal for the elderly and disabled

Photo of Aryeh Greenberg
4 7

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Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Date Started


Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

Hi, my name is Aryeh Greenberg. I live in an area that gets hit by a couple of large snow storms every year. During class on the days prior to every snowstorm, one of my teachers always told us to remove the snow for one of our elderly neighbors. I found this quite nice, but finding someone who truly needs help is difficult. I don’t want to embarrass myself or others, and I don’t want to walk across the neighborhood to find that they already took care of the snow. I am stepping up to make a change because I see a change that is needed, and I know that with my current programming and business knowledge, I can make this change and truly help people.

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Snow removal is hard work and not befitting for elders and disabled people. Since 1990, there have been over 1,700 snow-shoveling related fatalities most common amongst elderly men. Snow Go seeks to provide free snow removal to elders and disabled people who should not be shoveling snow.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Snow Go will be a peer to peer network which allows the elderly and disabled to quickly and easily request a free snow removal from their community through the Snow Go iOS and Android apps or through the SMS texting application. Volunteers will sign up and be able to accept any pending removals in their area through the Snow Go Volunteer iOS and Android apps. Volunteers will qualify for competitions and be ranked based on the amount of snow they removed in order to encourage them. At the conclusion of each year, we will mail out top volunteer awards to the top 50 shovelers nationwide. Our platform will enable those who need free snow removal to get it easily and quickly without having to seem needy.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Sam is seventy-eight years old and lives in a suburban neighborhood in Northern United States. His children married and moved to cities far away. In early December, a huge snowstorm coats Sam’s neighborhood with eight inches of snow. Instead of being trapped inside or trying to remove the snow himself, he opens the Snow Go app, and in two taps, he has a local volunteer on the way.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

Free snow removal for the elderly has never been implemented correctly. Over the years, throughout the country, there have been programs for the cause; however, they always require long term commitment and human interaction to match volunteers and those in need. Other times, there is a single event organized where hundreds of teens go around shoveling for free. Those in need require a system which is reliable and allows them to request removals when they need it. Snow Go provides just this—we will allow those in need to request removals whenever they decide they are needed, and volunteers don’

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Snow Go was an idea that I had in late July of last year. I began developing the iOS applications and server programs; however, it was not ready for the winter of 2018. I’ve stuck with the idea and spent hundreds of hours developing the backend and frontend software (At the moment, we have a working minimum viable product for iOS). Hopefully, by the winter of 2019, Snow Go will be ready for use and will help thousands of people around the country get free snow removals.

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

Next, we need to complete the development of the iOS, Android, and SMS applications. Before the winter, we’d like to have seminars in focus areas to help the elders setup the Snow Go app. We also will contact high schools in the areas we look to serve and request them to inform their students about Snow Go. For legal reasons, and in order to be able to accept donations, Snow Go needs to be incorporated as of 501(c)(3).

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

Currently, Snow Go has a functional iOS apps for the volunteers and user requesting removals. In order to make Snow Go a reality, we need initial funding and guidance in order to enable us to incorporate as 501(c)(3), launch the platform, and offer volunteer rewards. Once Snow Go is launched for iOS, we hope to develop Android apps to allow our audience to grow to its maximum size, which will require the support of additional software developers.

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

Snow Go will enable thousands of young people to be leaders in their communities by volunteering to help remove snow for those in need. Currently, I have one friend who I am working with, whom I appointed as COO. We am in search for some driven young developers who want to improve society by helping with the software development.

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Other

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

Radio in South Florida


Join the conversation:

Photo of suraj Birdawade

check out the app to download paid apps for free of cost.

Photo of Anna Steenbakkers

I think it's great that you want to help those in need! Have you thought of how you will provide your service to those that don't have a smartphone, or those that don't know how to use them? Maybe you can also have a phone line where they can call if they want to get the snow removed. Keep up the good work!

Photo of Aryeh Greenberg

Believe it or not, I actually thought about that extensively, and decided that the best way to enable people without smartphones to use Snow Go would be an SMS interface. This way, people with old flip and slide phones can text us instead of using our app. I don't believe a phone line would be plausible at this point due to the expenses associated with it.

Photo of Nanaefua Eshun

I commend you for the work you have done to assist our underprivileged population our elderly. I am sure snow removal is hard physical labor. The fact you are willing to think of others first before yourself is commendable.