You Know You’re From...Marshfield: Mandi Chojnacki
MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) - “I’d never had an idea like this before.”
Who knew a chore many despise would bond strangers forged by snow.
“I’ve met a ton of new people,” said Mandi Chojnacki. “I wanted to get out into the community and shovel.”
A spur of the moment idea by Chojnacki.
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“Woke up in the middle of the night, I had to jot this idea down. Secret snow shoveling society.”
One Facebook post later, “I got overwhelming support and excitement,” she said, a troop of do-gooders was born in Marshfield. But to know the base of Mandi’s idea is to know Sergeant First Class Chojnacki.
A 14-year veteran of the Wisconsin National Guard.
“I enlisted when I was 26 years old.”
Another spur of the moment idea.
“I woke up that morning and I decided I wanted something more out of my life. And the next day I was enlisted,” Chojnacki said.
Since then she has eaten, slept and breathed the Army life, following the footsteps of her dad who served in the Guard for 20 years.
“I grew up in a very structured household and I wanted more structure and independence in my life,” she recalled. “Basic training and the Army gave that to me.”
Twice she’s been overseas. First to Iraq, then Afghanistan where her and her ex-husband were stationed at Camp Liberty. The name of their 5-year-old daughter.
“It’s pretty cool,” a soft spoken Liberty said. “And I want to join my mom and dad when I get older.”
“I’m all about teaching moments and making sure that she’s growing up to be a good member of society,” said Mandi.
Especially the secret ones.
“And I’m a member of the Secret Snow Shovelers Society,” Liberty said on a video posted to the groups Facebook page. Liberty’s already a recruiter just like mom.
“Come and join me. It’s fun,” she said at the end of the video.
“It’s fun having kids and other families come to our snow shovelers society,” Liberty said.
If, and when, we get another snowfall, Mandi, Liberty and the rest of the troops will stand at the ready.
“COVID has really torn the world apart in so many different ways, that connection is what we need. I just wanted to give back,” said Mandi.
They already have a full list of about 20 houses they service. But when next winter rolls around, you can nominate a neighbor or request for yourself. There are no restrictions.
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