Roger Lauriault hadn’t planned on spending five hours of his Saturday plowing the driveways of strangers, but he wasn't going back on his word.
To the surprise of many on the Greater Sudbury Valley East Facebook page, this past Saturday the Hanmer resident volunteered his time to plow the driveways of any resident who needed it. The act appeared unmotivated, and was a welcome change to the negativity Lauriault said often dominates social media.
“I think it probably started with my mother-in-law,” Lauriault said with a laugh. “The night before last, their snow blower broke down and she asked if we could clean the driveway” in exchange for dinner. On his drive home after helping his mother-in-law, Lauriault was shocked to see the number of driveways still snowed in from the storm.
“I would say what got me the most was seeing the elderly trying to clean all that huge stuff that was off to the side,” said Lauriault.
Lauriault is not a contractor, but a licensed mechanic by trade, who had purchased his truck and plow for the sole purpose of maintaining his own property. With potential repairs or vehicle wear-and-tear of no concern to mechanic Lauriault, he felt there was nothing keeping him from helping out the community that has given him so much.
Lauriault has lived with his wife and four children in the Valley for more than 19 years, making him very familiar with the community and its residents. “I don’t think there’s one kid that goes by here that doesn’t stop and wave, or stop and talk,” said Lauriault.
In the span of five hours, Lauriault was able to complete 16 driveways between McCrea Heights and Capreol, but he’s not stopping there. “It was a long day, but the people were amazing, really generous - really generous,” said Lauriault. All he asked in return for his service was a donation to the local food bank, “again, probably because of my mother in law,” said Lauriault, food and a good deed just go together.
Lauriault hadn’t expected to receive the number of requests that he did, but to him, this is only proof of how much his help was needed. “One lady just had a hysterectomy, she couldn’t move to shovel her driveway. Another man, he’s recovering from being sick and (his wife) is out of town and their driveway hasn’t been cleaned.”
To be clear, Lauriault is not offering his services to everyone. “If I see a couple kids out there holding a shovel - well I'll wave to em’ when I go by,” Lauriault admitted, but he hopes to help as many as he can.