Coronavirus is sparking creative ways to help those in need in our community
What I find tremendously encouraging in this very uncertain and downright frightening time is how many people are investing enormous time and energy trying to figure out how to help others in the community.
The coronavirus situation is spawning some amazing efforts aimed at helping others in the community stay afloat financially and emotionally while we are practicing social distancing and awaiting to see the first wave of coronavirus patients hit our limited medical facilities. Those limitations are only in the number of beds and ventilators, however.
The spirit of service and commitment to helping is boundless among those in these helping professions.
Much of business has been shut down and a high percentage of families and businesses don’t have enough resources to get by. We have an obligation and an opportunity to help these folks.
Here are just a few of the efforts that I am aware of in The Wenatchee Valley that have been launched already to figure out how we can help our neighbors. I apologize that I’m only mentioning a few of these.
The Community Foundation of North Central Washington is surveying nonprofits in our region to figure out how all of us can support critical services to our most vulnerable neighbors and support the nonprofits who are on the front lines of service and are staying true to their mission of service and are unable to practice social distancing.
Let’s support with our contributions the CFNCW’s “Helping Hands” fund, which will be used to target resources to the most critical needs. The foundation is launching a resource page on their website, http://cfncw.org. Executive Director Beth Stipe figures mightily in conversations about how we help the community be successful in times of crisis.
Stipe says what we learned from the 2014 and 2015 wildfire recovery efforts is that supporting nonprofits is the most efficient and effective way to help those in need. We must look to CFNCW for leadership in our efforts to help families.
Our Valley Our Future has spun up a conversation among community leaders to figure out how best to support businesses, families and nonprofits, thanks to the leadership of Steve Maher of OVOF, who is facilitating the conversation.
Those conversations have identified several needs, including the importance of helping our medical system weather the coronavirus storm by encouraging every individual to take as many precautions as possible so Confluence Health, Columbia Community Health, Lake Chelan Community Hospital and Cascade Medical Center don’t get overrun.
Just having press releases from the Chelan-Douglas Health District is not enough. We have to get the word out to everyone and that will take creativity and teamwork.
Attorney Peter Spadoni of Jeffers, Danielson law firm is brainstorming with several civic leaders about ways to help businesses keep people employed. He’s calling the effort “We Stand Together.”
Blair McHaney of Worx is participating in that conversation and he’s already steps to help those in his employ. Because of his business success, he is able and willing to continue paying his employees, even though the gyms are shuttered. He closed them before he was required to.
McHaney is willing to share his knowledge and ideas with any business owner in the community to help them get by. I have always admired his sense of service to the community.
Another effort has been launched thanks to local companies Empower Dataworks (Lacy Stockton), Digital Media Northwest and Awdience. The website they’ve spun up is togetherwenatchee.com and is designed to help local businesses find creative ways to meet the needs of the community in a challenging time. Several businesses are already on board and the site has the ability to share information and support families as well.
This spirit of community is inspiring. It gives me goosebumps and reminds me why I love this valley and this region, which was built for more than just individuals to succeed but to help those around us to succeed as well.