I believe in community and building it has been something I’ve been doing most of my life. When a community comes together for a common cause, seemingly insurmountable problems can be solved or mitigated.
The way our neighbors have been supporting each other through COIVD-19 has been awe-inspiring and written about here. COVID Care Neighbor Network (CCNN) started with a simple Post-It note left on my neighbors’ doors, letting them know to call if they needed anything. Our neighbors have responded.
CCNN has become a community resource center for the neediest among us. An incredible matching team of fifteen people work seven days a week answering calls and emails for families requesting services.
– On Mondays unemployed chefs and sidelined street vendors cook 40-50 meals, volunteers bake delicious cookies or brownies and bag the lunches and deliver them along with masks to day laborers.
– Every Tuesday and Friday teams of volunteers bag groceries and deliver to families in need throughout Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Woodside and Corona.
– We have volunteers running daily errands, making check-in calls and bringing home cooked meals to our seniors.
– Moms donate diapers, formula and baby wipes by the truckloads. Everyday people mail or personally bring bags and boxes of non-perishable food and other supplies to my home.
– The ASPCA has given us dog and cat food. Maizteca Foods brought us fresh baked tortillas. Local businesses like Espresso 77, Frank’s Pharmacy and K&L deli have all contributed.
– After we rapidly outgrew our space, The Queensboro (our community partners) have been instrumental in COVID Care’s ability to keep serving those who need it. We now order through their wholesalers which helps stretch our donation dollars. We use their refrigerator systems. Packing groceries out of their large space is very efficient.
– Our non-profit partners Together We Can are huge support. They have a team of volunteer social workers who do follow-up calls to those who contact us. They help families register for SNAP and other benefits along with providing assistance for mental health and general well-being issues. Thanks to them we’ve raised $40,000. One hundred percent of all money raised goes to buy fresh produce, milk, eggs, rice, beans and flour to add to our weekly bags.
COVID Care now has a mapping app (thanks to another incredible volunteer) to track neighbors in need, volunteers and deliveries made. It’s helped us become much more efficient. Here’s what we’ve accomplished together since we began.Covid Care Network