“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world.” ~ Fred Rogers, American actor, musician, puppeteer, writer, and host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
From COVID-19 to devastating wildfires, we know it is a challenging time for the communities we serve. As our state and the world continue to respond to disasters, we should all take advantage and get involved in National Preparedness Month this September. It’s important for families, businesses, and communities to be prepared for a disaster and to reduce risks. We put together a quick two-steps for how you can be better prepared and we are shining a spotlight on a few of the community helpers providing resources along the Amtrak San Joaquins route.
Step 1: Plan an Emergency Plan
It’s important to know which disasters could affect your area. It’s also important to establish a plan in case you and your family are not together when a disaster strikes. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find. Download and fill out an emergency plan here.
Step 2: Build an Emergency Supply Kit
Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. If you have a family member with unique needs, be sure to back their extra supplies such as medication. If you have pets make sure to back their food and additional supplies you may need. Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the following items:
Community Helpers In Your Area:
Our partners at Richmond Main Street Initiative are slowing the spread of COVID-19 through the power of local manufacturers. LeChat Nails, Leftside Printing, Five Star Cleaners and Fab Lab at Kennedy High School are creating Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including face masks, hand sanitizer and face shields. Richmond Main Street Initiative has partnered with Travis Credit Union Foundation to raise funding to provide these PPE items to local residents and businesses in need. For more information, visit www.richmondmainstreet.org.
There are a lot of opportunities to donate and volunteer in Fresno and Clovis. You can purchase a Sierra National Forest/Fresno Strong flag from Oso Y Que or a “Land that I Love” or “Sierra National Forest” T-shirt from the local Fresno brand KLSD. All proceeds will be donated to Creek Fire Relief efforts. For Covid-19 relief, you can purchase a Unity for Community CRMC Covid Relief Fund T-shirt from Root General Store. If you’re able to donate personal hygiene products, you can do that through Better Period, a Fresno-based organization. Visit their Amazon wish list on their Instagram account at @better.period. If you want to help animals affected by the Creek Fire, where over 300 livestock animals were evacuated to the Fresno Fair Grounds, you can drop donations off directly at the Fair Grounds.
Our partners at the San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce recently distributed hundreds of cases of face coverings, hand sanitizers, and disinfectant spray to over 20 community-based organizations. Approximately $220,000 in supplies was provided to organizations that are in daily contact with community members who are receiving services or operating business under COVID-19 guidance. Participating organizations include: African American Chamber of Commerce, APSARA, Business Council San Joaquin County, Children’s Home of Stockton, Downtown Stockton Alliance, El Concilio, Gospel Center Rescue Mission, Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce, Haven of Peace, Kelly’s Angels Foundation, Miracle Mile Improvement District, NAACP Stockton Branch, Office of Violence Prevention, San Joaquin Pride Center, San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Second Harvest Food Bank, St. Mary’s Dining Room, Stockton Shelter for the Homeless, The Child Abuse Prevention Council, and Visit Stockton.
Modesto’s very own Love Our Neighbors is a one stop shop to find the best ways to engage with the community throughout Stanislaus County. If you are interested in finding unique ways to volunteer or help individuals and families, be sure to see how you can make a difference at loveourneighbors.org.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, blood centers across the state and nation have seen a significant drop in donations. Blood donations are important and the drop in donations have hindered the ability to replenish lifesaving blood supplies. But you can help! To donate, start by finding a nearby blood center at Advancing Transfusion and Cellular Therapies Worldwide (AABB). Sacramento-area residents can donate blood through Vitalant by making an appointment online or by calling 877-25-VITAL. The American Red Cross is holding community blood drives throughout the greater-Sacramento area. To find a blood drive near you, visit the American Red Cross online.
When COVID-19 hit it took its toll on individuals and business. However, some businesses were able to adapt. Napa Valley Distillery is one small business that did just that. They were able to create, manufacture and distribute hand sanitizer within their community while helping slow the spread of COVID-19. For more information in supporting small business and helping minimize the spread of COVID check out their website https://www.napadistillery.com/