BILLINGS — After being inspired by some Good Samaritans in Helena, Billings resident Michael Riedel, 38, said Saturday he hopes to inspire acts of charity in the community with a new snow removal group, Snow Dragons.
“I was inspired by a story about the snow angles in Helena and I got inspired to start one here in Billings, but instead of using snow angles, I decided to use the dragon," Riedel said.
When Montana got its recent dump of snow, a group of people started clearing the snow off of cars owned by employees of St. Peter's Health in Helena. They dubbed themselves the Snow Angels.
Riedel heard of the angels in Helena and started his group, which seeks to offer a similar service clearing cars and driveways of snow for the elderly and physically disabled, but he adopted the dragon as a mascot.
“They can melt snow with their fire and they’re also a universal symbol of wisdom, courage and strength," Riedel said.
While the fledgling group hasn't helped anyone yet, Reidel said he wants to rally the call for community service, so the next time it snows more people can be helped.
“At first, I hope it starts out locally, but I’m hoping it will grow throughout the state. We’re going to start out small and hopefully grow. Hopefully, people will be inspired to start a snow dragon in their own community," Riedel said.
The Snow Dragons aren't necessarily organized to the point where they meet up before getting to work. Riedel said a Facebook page will serve as a centralized place to get the message out and remind people that others in the community may need some help digging out.
Riedel said his Catholic faith and belief in charity also inspired the creation of his snow removal group. In 2012, Riedel founded another group, Catholic Dragons, that does work similar to the Knights of Columbus, of which Reidel is also a member.
Reidel said the Catholic Dragons have helped out Billings charity organizations like St. Vincent de Paul, Billings Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity.
To keep up with the Snow Dragons, visit the Facebook page by clicking here.