Letters to the Editor 3-25-2020

REVERE’S VOLUNTEER INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE

ear Editor,
We truly appreciate all who want to be involved as we are faced with this national and very local emergency. We hear of many offers to help from individuals and from community organizations throughout the city.
City of Revere departments and resources are adapting their services and plans to adhere to our common goal of social distancing and response to the health emergency.
Any requests for volunteers in response to COVID-19 will be filtered through Revere 311 and assigned to the emergency response team coordinators and relevant City of Revere department head. The coordinators/department head will then facilitate volunteer response directly OR assign the request to a relevant subgroup of the Revere Response Network. Requests currently are very few, but we anticipate this to change.
Our volunteers have been divided into two groups – medical and non-medical.

Guidance for non-
medical volunteers
We are still working out what tasks we will be asking our non-medical volunteers to do, but we know many in the community have questions about how they can help. Here are some examples of things we may be calling on you to do:
• Deliver supplies
• Load/unload supplies as they arrive; this includes the Veterans’ food pantry on April 1st
• Create reusable medical supplies
• Collect cloth and linens
• Collect extra food and basic necessities for vulnerable populations (you can arrange drop-off of supplies at the Senior Center on Winthrop Ave.)
• Neighborhood literature drops of COVID-19 education materials, where to call/find help, food resources, etc.
• Make phone calls to neighbors in need to check in on them and make sure they know what resources are available…
• Visit www.Revere.org for all local updates and sign up to receive them as well.
• For residents, Revere mutual aid packet: https://www.revere.org/departments/public-health-division/coronavirus/revere-mutual-aid
• For businesses, Revere business resources: https://www.revere.org/departments/public-health-division/coronavirus/resources-for-businesses-workers-impacted-by-covid-19

Things to do before Volunteering:
1.) Pack a “go-bag”
Include personal items you might need during your shift such as phone charger, snacks, water, weather-appropriate attire, medications, etc. We will do what we can to provide these supplies or personal protective equipment whenever possible and for as long as we can, but do your best to assemble your own supplies.
2.) Safety is paramount
When volunteering, be sure to practice preventive measures to stay healthy:
• Stay home when sick
• Volunteers with pre-existing conditions should not interact with the public.
• Practice social distancing at all times. At this point, the best advice is to treat everyone, even yourself as infected.
• Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently; avoid touching your face
• Clean frequently touched surfaces daily.
• Adhere to the most current government restrictions and CDC guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
• Close physical contact with the public or other volunteers is not allowed. We will work to ensure pick up and drop off of supplies will be controlled and facilitated in a way to keep far away from each other.
• Leave groceries or supplies on the doorstep and wait for the resident to appear to confirm your goods have been delivered. Alert authorities if you think that a neighbor is in danger — do not act on your own.
• This group will not participate in medical screenings, medical care, or transport of residents in any way.

Guidance for
Medical volunteers
Volunteers with medical experience are being forwarded to Carol Donovan and her task force and will be organized into their own subgroup as soon as possible. We are still looking for a volunteer to coordinate this medical team in conjunction with our city’s department of public health, emergency response team, and first responders. Please email Dimple Rana or Charlie Giuffrida if you are interested in leading this sub-group.

Moving Forward…
Current subgroups include food and supply assistance, financial impact and housing, mental health and trauma, wellness/neighbor checks, and youth. Most of you have submitted an application and CORI that has been approved. For those of you who have not, once we receive your online application, we will call you to follow up, ask you to submit a CORI, and volunteers will be assigned to a subgroup accordingly. If you know which sub-group you’d like to be assigned to, please let us know.
Thank you for your dedication. Stay well.
Charlie Giuffrida
Dimple Rana
Revere Response
Network Coordinators, City of Revere

LETTER FROM NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPERS

Dear Editor,
We at the Neighborhood Developers are all anxious as we face an unprecedented national emergency with the COVID-19 pandemic with many unknowns over the next few months. What we do know is that many of our neighbors are among those who are at risk during this time of grave public health concern, economic turmoil, and overall uncertainty
This pandemic has real potential to further drive economic inequality and health outcome disparities. Households living from paycheck to paycheck do not have the financial resources to weather this storm. 
We want to share with you what TND is doing in response to the pandemic and how you can help. We’re in for the long haul as we know this will be a long next few months.  
TND is part of the Pandemic Response Teams in both Chelsea and Revere, which are coordinated efforts of nonprofits, health care institutions, municipal agencies and school departments, business representatives, housing authorities, and residents. Teams in each city are mobilizing all resources available to address our community’s urgent short-term needs. 
TND is gathering information about emergency assistance and circulating it to our tenants, CONNECT clients, and the broader communities in which we operate. 
Through CONNECT, we have a system and process in place to manage emergency, rent, and utility funds, and we’ve already begun to make distributions with the support of The United Way and The Boston Foundation. Many of our clients have worked hard to better themselves and their families through attending financial coaching and classes. Our staff uses the relief funds as a tool to work with clients to build their savings for emergencies.        
 TND is continuing its VITA tax services (on a drop-off basis) as we know many of our clients rely on their tax refunds. This year’s tax refunds are more important than ever as it will help many to face emerging health and economic struggles. Our research shows that a majority of the tax refunds go back into our local economy supporting small businesses, including many of those directly affected. 
 We at TND have always believed in neighbors helping neighbors and we appreciate your support of our community during this extraordinary time. We will continue to keep you updated on progress over the next few weeks.For more information on TND’s office hours and services, please check our website at http://theneighborhooddevelopers.orgAs the TND staff is working remotely, the best way to reach individual staff members is through email, a staff directory can be found on the TND website.
The Neighborhood Developers

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