Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, there have been numerous stories of individuals going above and beyond to help others.
Many school district staff members had to scramble to devise plans to ensure children who needed meals could continue to receive them while classes were not in session. This took an enormous amount of organization, time and labor to provide the food that was needed. All these people deserve our sincere gratitude for the work they performed to carry this off.
Other projects have accomplished worthy goals as well.
Members of a Facebook group called Lockdown in Sackets Harbor responded to the need for masks used by health care workers. In about 24 hours, these caring people created more than 100 masks and donated them to local medical facilities. They were inspired by a notice on the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
“In settings where N95 respirators are so limited that routinely practiced standards of care for wearing N95 respirators and equivalent or higher level of protection respirators are no longer possible, and surgical masks are not available, as a last resort, it may be necessary for HCP to use masks that have never been evaluated or approved by NIOSH or homemade masks. It may be considered to use these masks for care of patients with COVID-19, tuberculosis, measles, and varicella. However, caution should be exercised when considering this option.”
This was a wonderful way for these people to spend time in their residences during this period of self-quarantine. We commend them for making the best of the resources they had to help the health care workers who need these masks.
Members of the Community Action Planning Council in Watertown recently prepared meals for children living within General Brown Central School District. And in return, local businesses have been providing needed items to CAPC.
Bolton’s Pharmacy donated boxes to CAPC for its food pantry. And Savory Downtown and Time Warp Tavern, both located in Watertown, provided meals for employees there.
Two prominent organizations have really stepped up. The United Way of Northern New York established a Crisis Fund to support work in areas including shortage of supplies, children’s lunch programs and employees affected by the economic downturn. And the Northern New York Community Foundation approved $50,000 in funding to assist agencies helping those in need.
First Presbyterian Church in Watertown recently gave $5,000 to Watertown Urban Mission. The church also hosted a blood drive Saturday for the American Red Cross.
Just as some groups have provided solutions to various problems, others have reached out to their respective communities to let them know what they require.
The Village Ecumenical Ministries Food Pantry in Carthage has solicited donations of items to restock its shelves. In particular, it needs canned fruit, cereal, oatmeal, cleaning supplies, paper towels and tissue.
Food pantry coordinator Jody Mono said there will not be another truck from the Central New York Food Pantry until April 3. Donations can be dropped off at the side door of the building at 495 S. Washington St. during hours of operation. The food pantry is open from 9 a.m. to noon Mondays and from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays.
St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES is looking for donations of plastic bags to pack free meals being provided across the county. The state recently implemented a ban on these bags in stores.
Bags must be donated by businesses, not individuals. They will be sanitized before they are used.
The bags can be dropped off at the door of any of the BOCES Career and Technical Education Centers from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. For more information, send emails to tawni.Rickett@sllboces.org.