State Rep. Kara Rochelle, D-Ansonia, is rallying Valley folks to volunteer their time to help their most vulnerable neighbors, such as the elderly, during these uncertain and challenging times.
Rochelle has partnered with Team Inc. in an effort to recruit volunteers to help local nonprofits, including the Valley food banks, diaper banks and meal delivery services, due to the coronavirus pandemic impacting everyone’s daily lives.
“Our nonprofits rely on help from older residents, who do so much for the people of our community,” Rochelle said. “But right now, our seniors are among the most at-risk population for having serious health consequences if they contract COVID-19. We need to look out for their health and safety and we must make sure our nonprofits stay afloat.”
Rochelle is working with Team President/CEO David Morgan on the initiative to recruit volunteers to support neighbors in need.
“No matter how difficult times are, the hallmark of our community is that the Valley shows up for each other,” Rochelle added. “This time is no different.”
While Rochelle said schools, gyms, movie theaters, bars, restaurants and other places have been shuttered statewide until further notice, many of the Valley’s nonprofits remain open to ensure those in need receive the vital resources on which folks rely, such as food, medical care, energy assistance and counseling.
“The needs of nonprofits may vary in these uncertain times, but building a database of available individuals will be an invaluable resource so volunteers can be plugged in with efforts if and when needed,” Rochelle said.
Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to fill out an online questionnaire at https://bit.ly/2Wrx6O5. Interested volunteers also can email Rochelle at Kara.Rochelle@ or Team at info2@ .
Morgan said volunteers will be needed to help at the Valley food pantries to stock shelves, collect and transport food and transport critical items such as diapers and formula to Valley families.
“We’re very thankful that Kara and others are building and maintaining a volunteer list that can be available on a moment’s notice,” said Morgan. “I believe the specific volunteer tasks will continue to emerge and may be unique as these conditions and times move forward in the days, weeks and months ahead.”
Rochelle said a coalition of Valley nonprofits, including Valley United Way and others, have been working together well before the health crisis hit. She said some of the nonprofits, especially the food pantries, are “struggling to maintain volunteer levels at this time.”
Rochelle said a communitywide effort to keep the Valley nonprofits up and running is crucial.
“We want to ensure that any local nonprofits in need of volunteers who are providing essential services to people in the Valley are able to continue providing those services,” Rochelle added. “In the face of this unique crisis there will be a variety of tasks we may need help with, some traditional and some creative and new to keep services and spirits up during this difficult time.”
Rochelle is confident the Valley will answer the call.
“The people of the Valley have a deep history and tradition of volunteerism and looking out for one another,” she said. “This is an opportunity for the Valley to shine while we work to protect our most vulnerable.”