How Can We Support One Another During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Mary Ibiyemi

 

In times of struggle, we as nations, countries and communities should all be there for one another. We never know what others really go through unless we are in those situations ourselves.

With the coronavirus spreading rapidly closures of businesses leading to loss of jobs, lack of income and uncertainty face us all.

Questions like “how do I afford food? my mortgage? support my family these next few months without a job?” all plays in our minds.

We see in the news the lengths people have gone to help others around them, from the elderly to the NHS everyone is playing their part to come together and fight the effects and consequences of the virus we are all subject to.

Essential workforces remain open with limited hours to help everyone get the necessities they need.

It’s times like this people really appreciate organisations who are offering all the help that they possibly can, be it funded or through donations.

With the lack of stock in shops due to panic buying, people have had to resort to asking on Facebook or going to food banks to get what they need.

Let’s look at an organisation helping those during this pandemic.

Renfrewshire set up in September 2018 by founders Jade and Amanda Macdonald helps individuals and families in Renfrewshire with necessities such as clothing, toys at Christmas, school uniforms, baby essentials and emergency food.

This organisation is not funded and both women use their own money to purchase food if there are no donations from the community to help those in need.

Like all others, they too have been hit with the strain and restrictions on purchasing stock like baby wipes and UHT milk but have managed to get what they can with help from a local market shop in Paisley shopping centre.

The virus has also affected people who regularly donated financially leaving them in a position of not being able to donate food or other items as they too may need those items for themselves.

In order to keep all donations, they pay for a storage unit also to store clothing, nappies and other essential items.

The aim Renfrewshire is wanting to target is one of expansion. They are trying to set up as a self-reliant group through WeVolution as they acquire a hub in Moss Street, Paisley to grow and help more people.

When asked the reason and inspiration behind setting up the organisation Jade said:

“We took inspiration from my wife Amanda’s mum, she passed in 2016 after a ten-year-long battle with dementia. She was a social worker so helped families daily in different ways and we wanted to do something to keep her memory alive and help people at the same time.”

As well as that wanting to lessen the impact on the environment by reusing items was a factor in the launch of the organisation.

For those who require the help of Renfrewshire, you can get in contact with them on Facebook and a time will be arranged to collect items at their home for food or clothing at the storage unit.

 

They are flexible and don’t operate within certain hours or look for a referral before attending to people who need help urgently.

As well as Paisley those in Barrhead and Nitshill were also able to receive help from the organisation as the items would only end up going unused otherwise.

How to Help Others Who Need It in Our Communities

Regardless of whether you live in Renfrewshire, the message the organisation would like to send out to us all is when we are out doing our shop is that we should add a few items more like tins of food or pasta and donate it to an elderly, disabled or vulnerable neighbour who is unable to get to the shops as much as they would like with the current situation at hand.

And to also consider donating it to them as they are a non-referral foodbank and run it from their houses.

They aim to have no stigma attached to it and have certain anonymity about it knowing that they are there to help and not judge.

For those wanting to do more, they need volunteer drivers who can help distribute the items for families and individuals who can’t get out due to the cost of public transport or current or even private situations.

An act of kindness can go a long way no matter what action you choose to take.

Something as small as a smile can help brighten people’s day and help get them through the tough times.

To know more about Renfrewshire and the people they are currently needing to help just click on this link and all the information is there.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/323891784826525/?ref=share

Let us all try and do our part to help others. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture like the saying goes:

‘It’s the thought that counts’

Any help for organisations, local food banks and so on will be greatly appreciated during this difficult time.

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