MALVERNE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island husband, and soon-to-be father, turned to social media looking for work plowing driveways or shoveling sidewalks after he was laid off. He promised an honest day’s work and, as WCBS-TV’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the response was overwhelming.
Brian Saphire never expected much this Christmas. “I’m a stagehand with Local 4 and, when the pandemic hit in March, we all got laid off,” Saphire said. “Holidays around the corner, I went out on a limb… you know what, snow’s coming.”
Swallowing up his pride, Saphire put an ad on the “I Love Malverne” social media page, offering to salt, sand, shovel, clear cars or snow blow driveways and sidewalks in the community.
Ninety-year-old Virginia Lein jumped at the chance. “I’m very proud of him because he’s working very hard,” Lein said. “I’ve lived in Malverne for 61 years. I love Malverne. We all help each other.”
Without a job and unable to pay the rent, Saphire and his wife had to leave their home in nearby Babylon, but doors immediately opened in Malverne. “My mother-in-law, who took us in with open arms,” said Saphire.
He and his wife are due with their first child in March. “Can’t come soon enough. We’re having a little girl. I’m over the moon,” he said.
In the meantime, there are snow clearing messages galore. Brian can’t keep up. He’s enlisted two stagehand union buddies, who were also laid off, to share the work.
“The amount of people that are trusting me to come to their house and shovel for them… I have nothing to say except, ‘Thank you,’” he said. “I wish I could reach everybody that wanted me to come out. They’re coming in from all over Long Island.”
With more than 70 offers, Brian said this storm became an unexpected burst of joy that will make a real difference.