Local Network Matches Volunteers with Persons at Higher COVID-19 Risk
Ten students in Wilmington College’s Honors Program are providing boots on the ground — albeit from a distance — in support of Clinton County’s Neighbors for Neighbors project.
Neighbors for Neighbors is community-led network created to help residents connect so that no one has to face the COVID-19 crisis alone. The network matches volunteers who are at lower risk of developing COVID-19-related health conditions with those at higher risk. Volunteers routinely conduct check ins and help ensure the no-contact delivery of food and other essential supplies.
“Our ultimate aim is to keep those in our community safe while building morale,” said Megan Fair, one of the community leaders of the program who, in researching mutual aid models from around the country, felt the Neighbors for Neighbors model could have the greatest impact in Clinton County.
“We recognized that many in Clinton County were already responding to this pandemic by supporting one another, but there are some in our community who might not be able to access such support so easily,” she added.
Wilmington College’s Dr. Michael Snarr, professor of political science and a member of Wilmington City Council, was part of the organizing group. He suggested getting students in WC’s Honors Program involved. The program is designed to enrich the academic experience of qualified students with special sections of courses, interdisciplinary seminars, and opportunities for leadership, service and civic engagement.
While students are completing the spring semester at home with their professors teaching through online delivery modes, 10 answered the call when Snarr asked for volunteers for the Neighbors for Neighbors network. They include Layne Frederick, Lucy Enge, Hannah Swepston, Hannah Davis, Maggie Westerbeck, Chase Menchofer, Ariana Riccardi, Kaitlin Armstrong, Chloe Mason and Alyssa Harper.
Enge is a freshman from Cincinnati majoring in political science, who jumped at the opportunity.
“I want to help the community during the pandemic, despite being at home with my family in Cincinnati,” Enge said, noting her role so far has largely consisted of surveying organizations regarding resources they offer for the community or resources they might need in order to be more effective.
Fair described the work of these students as an “essential part” of the project. She added that, in addition to Enge’s specific outreach, the students also are connecting volunteers with those who need support, creating backend infrastructure for volunteers, collecting and analyzing community data and developing Neighbors for Neighbors’ social media presence.
“I’m grateful that I can contribute somehow during this crisis,” Enge said, “History is not only happening around me, but I am, in a small way, a part of it.”
More information can be found at https://www.ccneighborsforneighbors.com/.BACK