How Can We Help?

Back of snow shovel with Norte and Northern Lumber logo stickers.

Snow Falls, We Shovel. A short PSA from Norte.


There’s one definite take away from this strange year. And it’s that helping each other is supreme. It is also one of our core values here at Norte. As Lauren wrote here last week, we’re always asking, “how can we help?” The pandemic only reinforced that commitment. We stopped, brainstormed, rerouted, and picked up with slightly different tactics and goals.

One early question was, how do we still provide children the much needed time outside with their friends and keep it safe? Well, we mask up, wash our hands—a lot—and keep them moving at safe distances.

Another question, how do we still give back to our community for the annual Cranksgiving? The answer, we change the start to a remote location for each team, send a manifest via text message, and instruct teams to deliver the goods in a decentralized manner to the Wheelhouse. This massively successful day contributed over 3500 lbs of food to area pantries.

There’ve been countless other questions. Numerous small ones; a few large ones. How do we still help people in need of transportation? Provide support for schools? Offer an advocacy class for teens? How do we see the magic lights of the holiday together without a gathering of bikes, lights, and smiles? Each time, we found a way.

Now we ask, how do we help keep our communities accessible when the snow starts to pile up? We know the streets will be plowed, but what about the sidewalks and bus stops?

The answer. We shovel. Together. 

I love shoveling. It wakes me up. It’s an easy way to get outside when the couch is it’s most appealing. It’s a chance to breathe in the crisp air, give myself a boost, and, with a little extra effort, help my neighbors.

By taking care of the sidewalks and the paths in front of our homes, we make winter brighter for others. This includes the neighbor walking to the store, children dashing to the sledding hill, health care workers walking to another shift, and delivery champions dropping off that last-minute gift.

We’re in this together, folks. In the next few weeks and months, join me by lifting your shovels to the sky, letting out a cry of joy, and clearing the way for a magical new year for all—one shovel load after another.

Happy Holidays. We love you.

Program Coordinator, Norte

P.S. The Great Northern Michigan Shovel Experiment is live. If you need some help or if you can help, let us know. Norte will make the connection.



Happy. Healthy. Strong.