A grassroots movement that began on Facebook has grown so rapidly over the last week that it has now added a dedicated website to its onine presence.
Caremongering-Kamloops is a Facebook page on which locals can offer help to those who are struggling under the COVID-19 restrictions, anything from pet-walking services to delivery of food.
But the community response was so massive that it quickly became difficult to manage everything on the Facebook page, which led to expanding the message by creating kamloopscares.ca, where people are being encouraged to sign up now if they might be able to help.
“We’re going to need lots of volunteers if this is going to happen,” said Gisela Ruckert, one of the Facebook group’s moderators who helped push for creation of a web-based platform to complement the Facebook page
Here’s how it works:
People can go to the website and fill out a volunteer form that includes information on where they live and what types of services they might be able to provide.
Once enough volunteers are in place, the site will be opened for the people who need those services to sign up and request assistance.
They will be partnered up with those in their neighbourhoods able to help, hopefully making everyone’s trip through the pandemic a little easier.
The speed with which locals jumped on the opportunity to help their fellow citizens illustrates the generosity of those who call Kamloops home, Ruckert said.
“It’s absolutely just another demonstration of the amazing volunteer and community spirit that we have in our community,” she said.
The group was started by AnnMarie Aase, who had seen similar programs popping up in other communities. The Facebook group has quickly grew to more than 2,500 members reaching out to help those in need.
Though assistance will be provided in person when necessary, there is an emphasis on services that can be provided at a distance, such as online classes that can keep people connected, while also learning and trying something new.
And for those who will be making deliveries and interacting with people, they are expected to follow safety protocols issued by health officials.
“That’s really critical,” Ruckert said. “We don’t want to spread it to vulnerable people.”
She said it is important is to get people signed up, and signed up quickly, as the faster the database, can be filled, the faster the program can get rolling.
“Please sign up now,” Rickert said. “Now is the time.”