Coronavirus: Volunteers needed as funding for Lethbridge non-profits arrives

Click to play video: 'More volunteers needed in Lethbridge as funding for non-profits rolls in' More volunteers needed in Lethbridge as funding for non-profits rolls in
Mayor Chris Spearman took some time to acknowledge Lethbridge volunteers on Wednesday, especially those stepping up during the COVID-19 pandemic. With more grant money being announced for organizations involved in the fight, the call is out to recruit more volunteers. Taz Dhaliwal reports – Apr 29, 2020

Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman is bringing attention to what he calls an important silver lining in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Volunteerism: our community’s can-do attitude and ability to pitch in and help others is something to take pride in.”

He said Wednesday it’s great to see several volunteers stepping up to the plate, however, with more COVID-19 funding being announced, the need for volunteers is also growing.

Volunteer Lethbridge is using its website to connect residents with non-profit organizations in need of some additional help.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Lethbridge city council hears update from economic task force

“Food banks are still doing their food hampers with MyCityCare helping seniors, you can do that from home, you can write them some uplifting messages,” said Chelsea Eastman, event and resources development coordinator with Volunteer Lethbridge.

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“Target Hunger is happening in June, so they’ll be opening up their website.”

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Connecting with seniors has been one of the more popular choices for new volunteers.

“There’s four basic questions we ask about their health, their mental health, their sense of community and sense of belonging, safety and all of those things just to see how they’re doing, and we write down based on a score,” said Barilemelo Ippa, one of the volunteers performing wellness checks on seniors.

READ MORE: Edmonton volunteers step up during COVID-19 pandemic: ‘Your time is always valuable’

“So, if they score very low on those wellness checks, we refer them to the appropriate community services.”

Barilemelo says the seniors he’s spoken to are very appreciative of the checks. He adds that with the extra time on his hands now due to his reduced hours at work and many places being closed, it’s something he enjoys doing.

“Overall, it’s going pretty well, we’ve managed to fill the gap in between, ask lots of questions and talk about things from their childhood to their interests and hobbies,” Ippa said.

“Also got some tips from them about, for example, gardening, which is something I want to get into.”

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He highly recommends others to get involved, especially at a time like this, when it means a lot to those on the receiving end.

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