Coventry teen digs out snowed-in neighbors in need

It's Good News

COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — Snowstorms bring out the Good Samaritan in many of us, but a Coventry teenager took it several shovels of snow further.

David Fournier is a human snow plow, but not much bigger than the heavy equipment he used with the help of his dad.

And not much heavier than the snow he burrowed through.

“Thank you very much,” one of the homeowners he helped said with a hug.

“That’s what we’re here for,” the Coventry High School senior answered.

A few of the people on his list are fit enough to move the mountains of white, but most can’t.

“I helped people who were on oxygen or who can’t even move or barely walk,” Fournier said. “I helped the elderly. I help the blind.”

Like Coventry elementary school music teacher Nicholas Zammarelli, who last tried to shovel his walkway about a decade ago. But since he can’t see, he cleared an area in the wrong direction.

“So, I made a beautiful path to my flag pole,” Zammarelli said. “After that I said I’m not doing that anymore.”

As the snow started to fall, the teacher known as Mr. Z reached out for help, and Coventry police connected him with Fournier.

“Oh my God. It’s amazing,” Zammarelli said, referring to his former pupil’s snow days of work.

The young Samaritan had no idea he was about to help his former teacher when he pulled up to the snow-packed home.

‘And I’m like, ‘oh my God! That’s Mr. Zammereli, my music teacher.’ It’s a shocker,” Fournier recalled.

Mr. Z was just as happy to see Fournier.

“And the thing of it is, to do what he’s doing and to do it for no money is amazing,” he said.

Fournier just kept shoveling, and smiling, despite the cold.

“It’s not just about money,” he said. “It’s about helping others and to let them know that you’re there to help them.”

A few of the people he helped, including Mr. Z, did put some cash in his pocket. But Fournier insists he is available to help for free when the next storm hits. You can find him on Facebook.Email Walt at with you story ideas and follow us on Twitter: @StreetStories12 and @wbuteau.

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