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Do Kids Shovel Snow for Money Anymore? Or Are They Lazy with a Sense of Entitlement?

Many people were left to fend for themselves this week instead of getting help from a young volunteer or entrepreneur offering to shovel snow.

by Jamie Rogers

We're just a month into winter and Northern Virginia has already experienced a number of snowy days, with more on the way on Saturday, according to some predictions. 

Even an inch or two of the fluffy stuff used to have the neighborhood kids seeing dollar signs, but according to some residents shoveling snow for dough is a thing of the past for children.  

 I can't really say if the decline in child-snow shovelers is real;  I grew up in South Carolina, where snow is so rare, just the possibility of it shuts down entire cities and causes fights to break out over dwindling bread and water supplies in stores.  

What do you think? Have times changed? Do children still see opportunity in snow? Tell us in the comments. 

I turned to my Virginian, Washingtonian and New Yorker friends and asked, "Have you seen any children with snow digging gigs lately?" 

Here's what they said: 

"Talk about timing! A young kid just came to my door asking if we wanted our snow shoveled. I'm really surprised because it is so uncommon these days," -Prince Georges County, MD resident Valerie Sanders.
 
"Young people have changed. I think the overwhelming sense of entitlement that a lot of young people have keeps them from wanting to extend themselves." -Springfield resident Shirley Davis

"The idea of going out, working hard and saving money has become ancient and archaic for many families.
When I had my boys program, the general mentality of those boys was they want to grow up and be a rapper! When you have such people as your role model you aren't going to typically have the ambition to go outside and do that type of work.
Add to that parents not instilling in their kids a sense of working hard and earning an honest living. Everything being pushed for a majority of young people is 'what can someone do for me?'" -Liletta Thompson, Manassas resident who facilitated a help group for at-risk men and boys. 

OK, so if they aren't shoveling snow, what are kids doing with their time? 

"... in terms of work in general-I had a conversation with a friend about teenagers and jobs. Many kids are so focused on academics, school activities, and club sports building a college resume that they have no time for a job. Yet, I know I learned so much through holding down a job from the age 14," Manassas resident Rachel Kirkland, librarian and school board member

So how were things when we grown-ups were young? Who shoveled snow way back then? 

" ... both my father and brother did (sometimes even in the middle of the night so the snow didn't build up). It was not a game. Shovel, salt, shovel, salt," - Cameron McCurty, Fort Washington, MD resident and Syracuse, NY native 


"I grew up in a household with 9 kids, allowance was not an option for us. We EARNED our money from hustling.
In the fall we would rake leaves, spring/summer we mowed lawns, and winter was definitely shoveling.
Taking back bottles to the depot for cash was year round. First and foremost was our property, then our neighbors on both sides of us because they were older.
Then we went around our blocks looking for people who needed their driveway cleared. Also, any older friends from our congregation who lived in the area. It was expected when weather like this came around. I guess cell phones, iPads, and things alike weren't common back then," 
Seth McCurty, Fort Washington, MD resident and Syracuse, NY native

"When I was growing up in NJ most times shoveling snow was a FAMILY effort. Both of my parents, my two brothers and I participated in shoveling. After handling the porch, yard and steps we all would return inside and chill eating some of moms Junk aka leftover soup.
Afterwards my brothers and I were allowed to wander the neighborhood and offer our services for a small fee. I miss those days and have wondered ((while digging myself out of a snowstorm (today doesn't qualify))) what has happened to the youth of today. Many of them are so spoiled with the spirit of entitlement they have no clue how to help a neighbor or work for a dime
."  -Samantha Jones, Centreville resident and East Orange, NJ native. 

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