Teens Use #ShovelItForward Campaign to Help Neighbors in Need

PHOTO: Teens Josh Elphick and Nico Bartelli helped out a neighbor by shoveling her walk so she could get heating oil for her home.
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WATCH Teens Shovel It Forward to Dig Out of Storm

To help people survive this snowy winter, a new social media campaign, #ShovelItForward, is asking anyone young, healthy and in possession of a shovel to consider shoveling out walks for the elderly or sick.

Connecticut teens Josh Elphick and Nico Bartelli were inspired by the campaign to help out a neighbor by shoveling her walk and clearing over a foot of snow so her heating oil could be delivered, according to ABC News affiliate WTNH-TV in New Haven, Connecticut.

“It puts a smile on my face, so I enjoy it,” Bartelli told WTNH. “I try to do what I can from time to time.”

In Wisconsin, firefighters led by example when they cleared the driveway of a man who had reported distress after starting to shovel snow. Across the country, other Twitter users posted pictures of cleared-out fire hydrants and parking spaces, all in the name of "shoveling" it forward.

The national campaign isn’t only about spreading cheer, it can also be lifesaving. Shoveling snow isn’t only a chore, it’s an exercise and can be dangerous for people who have heart disease or other underlying conditions.

Shoveling snow may seem innocuous but it has been known to cause heart attacks and even deaths. One reason is cold weather tightens blood vessels so less blood passes through.

Additionally, people will sometimes try to clear heavy snow quickly, leading to overexertion, according to Dr. Clyde Yancy, chief of cardiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

ABC News' SYDNEY LUPKIN contributed to this article.

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