For Chilliwack seniors who need help to get through the COVID-19 crisis, a new program dubbed ‘Community Cares’ promises assistance. (Black Press Media File)

Chilliwack Community Cares program offers help during COVID-19 crisis

Chilliwack Citizens for Change is launching the program to help seniors and the self-isolated.

People who are forced to self-isolate in their homes and seniors with mobility issues can turn to the Chilliwack Citizens For Change ‘Community Cares’ program for help during the COVID-19 crisis.

Organizers from CCFC are gathering a small army of volunteers who will deliver groceries and prescriptions to people who can’t get to a store or pharmacy, or handle other small tasks.

It’s an entirely free service, with no money changing hands at any point.

“We’ve set up a way to link people who need assistance with people who are willing to offer assistance,” said one of the organizers, Eryne Croquet. “If you’re a person who’s just returned from vacation and needs to stay home, if you’re a person who’s at-risk because of the virus – we hope there won’t be a huge volume of people needing this, but it’ll be there for them if they do.”

Getting involved is a simple process.

A Google form is available online that starts by asking whether you are A) in self-isolation/quarantine and need help or B) Willing to give help.

After providing a phone number and email address, you’re added to the appropriate list, and then matched up with a person who will either provide you with help, or needs your help.

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Matches are primarily based on what area of Chilliwack you live in.

“Even if you’re just alone and nervous and want to have a daily check-in with somebody, you can sign up and receive a daily text message, phone call or email,” Croquet said. “For the volunteers, it may be a matter of picking up groceries or a prescription that is already paid for, or a package from the post office. Maybe taking a box of stuff to the recycling depot.”

The program mimics one on Vancouver Island. Beacon Buddies organizers in Nanaimo helped Chilliwack organizers with the basic framework of ‘Community Cares,’ with CCFC’s Margaret Reid taking the lead.

“She wanted to do something to feel a little more empowered during this epidemic,” Croquet explained. “She was trying to find some way to help the community and stumbled across the Beacon Buddies program. When we contacted them, they were very willing to let us use the technology behind their system.

“It’s a way that people who need help don’t have to wait a long time to get it, and it’s a way for people who want to help to feel like they are doing something.”

For more info, email chilliwackcitizensforchange@gmail.com or check the CCFC Community Cares Facebook page.


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eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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