Wow. What a week it’s been. How’s your week been? You keeping up with all these rapidly changing impacts to our daily routines?
For me, my week has been spent working with members of the business community and local nonprofits, helping them pivot operations and crafting communications to help customers understand those business changes (I’m a self-employed communications specialist by day) and how to still participate in local commerce. I already do a lot of work from home, so it’s been easy to transition to online meetings and interactions, although the last seven days feel like they’ve been a blur of meetings and trying to stay on top of it all.
As a parent, I have a kindergartener and preschooler home from school. We’ve gone through all of our homeschooling supplies and gotten organized in that regard. With so many free online educational resources available, we decided it was a good time to invest in on-sale Kindle Fire tablets for our kids, as one more available learning tool.
It’s been over a week since I’ve spied even a lone roll of toilet paper for sale in this town, but regardless, our family will certainly persevere. We are well-stocked with anything else we might need.
But enough about me, I want to talk about some organizations that I’ve been working with in our community and what they’re doing to support humans and businesses around them.
First and foremost: Lewis County Seniors. As you know, each senior center in Lewis County is now nonprofit based. And, due to health concerns, the only logical choice was to close the senior centers to the public. But area seniors depend on those meals and Lewis County Seniors is able to provide nutritional meals through supplemental federal funding from the Lewis Mason Thurston Area Agency on Aging — available funds that should absolutely be utilized.
So what did they do? Within the span of about a weekend, they were able to develop a meal delivery system for seniors to receive meals free of charge ($3 donation suggested). By doing this, the staff and board are ensuring that meals are still going out and federal dollars are being maximized their fullest extent. Excellent and impactful work by a local nonprofit.
If you are over the age of 60 and are in need of safe meal delivery, please check to see if you qualify for this service. It is here to keep you healthy and safe! Lewis County Seniors can deliver up to five meals per week to each qualified senior citizen. You can contact Lewis County Seniors at (360) 740-0061.
That said, not everyone who is medically-fragile is a senior. There are many immunocompromised individuals or those on hospice care, sadly, who are not age 60 plus and still need meal and nutrition support amid COVID health concerns.
To that end, the local Visiting Nurses Foundation has stepped up to provide additional meal support. Due to COVID concerns, Visiting Nurses Foundation suspended their retail thrift operations entirely, now also offering meal delivery for medically-vulnerable individuals and those on hospice care. They can also deliver supplies from the Medical Equipment Bank (which is still open and available by phone).
And, if you’ve already utilized your five meals from the Lewis County Seniors program, but are still in need, Visiting Nurses can also help, too, with additional meals.
It’s interesting to note that, while Lewis County Seniors are being excellent stewards of available federal dollars and preparing meals in-house, that Visiting Nurses Foundation (at the direction of their board and administration) are infusing funds into local food establishments to prep the meals they are delivering to vulnerable community members. You can contact them at (360) 623-1560.
An excellent public safety net backed by a private nonprofit. That’s a real sense of community, in my humble opinion.
If you still have needs as a vulnerable individual, please call 211 or visit 211.org. They are an excellent statewide resource guide.
If you as an individual would like to volunteer to be available to serve others during COVID impacts, you can visit VolunteerLewis.org and connect with our local United Way of Lewis County to make yourself available for opportunities as they arise. They are also helping operate a COVID donation fund to mobilize resources to communities.
Brittany Voie is a columnist for The Chronicle. She lives south of Chehalis with her husband and two young sons. She welcomes correspondence from the community at firstname.lastname@example.org.