Families who need help during the current COVID-19 situation have options.
The Alpine Achievers Initiative is working to put families in need in touch with others who are willing to help.
“We’re trying to connect community members who have offered to support families with families who need support and having them sponsor (the families),” said Megan Strauss, executive director of the Alpine Achievers Initiative.
The organization also aims to help families who need help in a relatively anonymous way.
Email Strauss at email@example.com and she said she will send a form to complete. Interested volunteers can also email Strauss and complete the same form. She said some people who need help might also be able to help others, depending on what the need is.
Since the effort is community driven, sponsoring a family isn’t very defined. It’s more of a case-by-case basis. Helping a family could mean helping them with food or errands.
“We’re hoping by connecting sponsors (with families), they’ll keep in touch with the families and make sure they’re good,” Strauss said. “If they need more than you can give, then you get in touch with me and I’ll reach out to the larger community.”
Strauss said they currently have more families in need than people who have offered to help.
The effort is taking place in Salida, Buena Vista and Sagauche while a separate effort is also going on in Creede.
Strauss stressed that they’re trying to do it in a way that’s low-risk. Sponsors can leave food outside on someone’s door, for instance, so they can keep proper social distancing.
Another piece of what Alpine Achievers aims to do is prevent people from getting burned out helping others, especially since the need might be greater in a couple weeks, by sponsoring a single family.
“We’re trying to create a long term support system for these families,” Strauss said.
Kinsey Krupa with the High Rockies Cuisine food truck parked at Elevation Brewing is also offering sack lunches for people. She said the initiative was originally targeted at kids, but said they wouldn’t turn anyone away.
“We’re trying to supplement anyone who has been hit with an extra grocery bill,” Krupa said.
The original plan was to help feed people Tuesday through Thursday this week, but Krupa said they’ll keep the effort going as long as they can.
She said people can simply swing by their food truck at Elevation or, if they need it delivered, they can call Krupa at 970-749-1282 to arrange a delivery.
Krupa added that Americorps, Little Red Hen and lots of personal donations have helped their efforts. She said they’ve had such a huge outpouring of support that they’re not requesting additional help at the moment.
“Right now everybody is motivated to help, but it’s important that they help in a way that’s sustainable for them,” Strauss said.
Other groups are also on Facebook doing similar efforts, Strauss said.
While many shelves are also empty at grocery stores, food and other items are still coming in on a regular basis.
“People are buying more so some items are being depleted and (suppliers) aren’t able to fill every order, but deliveries are still coming on a regular basis,” said Eric Wilson, store manager of Natural Grocers in Salida. “It’s good to have some level of preparedness, but we don’t anticipate any disruptions. It’s business as usual, but in a higher volume.”
From our sister paper The Mountain Mail at www.themountainmail.com