Faith Mission’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors (NHN) Disaster Program is providing “Serve Safely” On-Call Volunteer opportunities to help those immediately affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Faith Mission CEO J.D. Young said there are many elderly people in the community that are afraid and have no one to assist them with simple things like grocery shopping, getting medications, or simply having someone to talk to. He said these volunteer opportunities look a little different than what Faith Mission normally does, because it wants to honor all of the mitigation responses to COVID-19 by not allowing volunteers to gather in groups of more than ten people, practicing proper social distancing of at least six feet, and promoting frequent hand washing and sanitizing.
One volunteer opportunity is the We Care for Seniors Telephone and Virtual Visit Program. An on-call volunteer gets the name and phone number of a senior who was delivered a homebound meal for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, and calls that person.
Another volunteer opportunity is Senior Cyber Shopping. A senior 60 years old or older calls the Faith Mission Call Center at 1-800-845-8035, and a call center staff member or volunteer will go to the H-E-B website and place a grocery order designated for either curbside pick-up or delivery. If the order was placed curbside, a volunteer can place the groceries in their vehicle at H-E-B Curbside, then contact the senior and place the groceries on the senior’s porch or in the yard.
Faith Mission Executive Director Reverend Randy Wells said seniors are the most susceptible to this virus, and the community needs to ensure they do not go without basic necessities. He said the program, in partnership with Brenham GameChangers and H-E-B, is not an “emergency food program”, as those needs are met by local food pantries.
Businesses like ZochNet have also stepped up during this time, providing Internet and phone service, phones, equipment, and installation at no cost and no monthly cost for the call center. Washington County Information Technology Director T.J. Harris said ZochNet took a substantial amount of time to facilitate Faith Mission’s requests and provide services free of charge, despite having a business of their own to run.
To become an on-call volunteer, go to www.faithmission.us or call 1-800-845-8035.