LORAIN, Ohio — During the COVID-19 pandemic, many seniors need help getting essential items like hygiene products.
Neighborhood Alliance in Lorain County is making sure they get them and they’re asking the community to pitch in at a donation drive-thru drop off Saturday. The organization says the need for those essential items has surged over the last couple of months. Their supply is running low so that’s why they’re reaching out to the community for help.
The drive-thru drop off is being held at Lorain County Community College in Parking Lot #2 South from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Staff and volunteers will be collecting things like toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, body wash, deodorant, and hand soap.
People dropping off items are encouraged to stay in their cars while volunteers unload the essential items in an effort to limit personal contact.
Then, those items will be delivered to seniors in the Neighborhood Alliance’s Senior Enrichment program, including the 300-400 home-bound seniors in their Home Delivered Meals Program. The organization has conducted outreach to those they serve to determine the need and say it has grown exponentially over the last several months. The meal delivery program in particular continues to grow, adding 30 additional people each month over the course of the pandemic.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, Neighborhood Alliance has been reaching out to all of the clients that we serve that we've not been able to have face to face contact with,” Alicia Foss, President and CEO of Neighborhood Alliance, said. “So we've been doing Zoom calls and wellness checks by phone, trying to reach out to our community members just to make sure that they're doing okay and that they have what they need. And that's where we're finding that a lot of seniors don't have the essential supplies and hygiene products that they need, just you know for their personal comfort or their personal safety so we really felt that that was important that we continue to provide those kinds of items.”
Foss said the nonprofit has always provided essential items for seniors in a limited capacity, but not on the scale that they have seen during the pandemic. She said their regular donors have continued to support them, but the demand has grown so much, that those regular donations just aren’t meeting the need, so they’re counting on donations from other community members to keep up.
“Hygiene products are not something that are heavily funded. It’s not like I can just go out and get a grant and get all these hygiene products and be able to, you know, give those to people for free. So this is where we really rely on the community to support those physical products that we need that are maybe a little bit less likely to be funded through some other source,” Foss said.
More information about the drive-thru donation drop off can be found here.
This story is part of The Rebound: Northeast Ohio, News 5's initiative to help people through the financial impact of the coronavirus by offering one place to go for information on everything available to help and how to access it. We're providing resources on:
Getting Back to Work - Learn about the latest job openings, how to file for benefits and succeed in the job market.
Making Ends Meet - Find help on topics from rent to food to new belt-tightening techniques.
Managing the Stress - Feeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.
Doing What's Right - Keep track of the way people are spending your tax dollars and treating your community.