When the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic last week, South Surrey resident Shelley Jankola’s giving spirit sprang into action.
“It was really a random thought. I was feeling really overwhelmed and went for a walk in the forest and thought ‘this is gonna be huge, there’s going to be a lot of needs that are going to happen.’
Her most concerning needs were people stuck at home needing supplies, or on the flipside, people wanting to help but not knowing how to go about it.
For her, there was no better medium to connect the two than Facebook.
Two days later she created the group ‘COVID Isolation Assistance-White Rock/South Surrey’ where people can sign up to help bring everyday items, or in some cases speciality items, to people stuck at home. Whatever the need, they’re there.
Shelley says she’s been overwhelmed by the amount of people who signed up in the first few days of the page being created.
“In the first 24 hours we had over 100 people that either offered help or requested help on the site, and most of that was people offering to help, so, it was really heartening,” said Jankola.
From groceries and disinfectant materials…
To counselling services…
To just ’cause….
No need is too big, small, or trivial (within reason! They can’t bring you a million dollars!)
“I had a young mom who’s expecting and she was needed a thermometer. She had been to three places already but feeling really exposed, so she put the request out to the group. And within minutes a member said ‘I have an extra one. I’ll drop it off to you!’
While volunteers may have a heart of gold, Shelley says she can’t stress enough how important it is they protect themselves when dropping off items at peoples doors.
“When they go to someone’s home they essentially drop it off at their door then text the homeowner or knock on the door, do something to let them know it’s there for safety and security reasons but also preventing contact if possible.”
With more people joining the group each day, Shelley says it’s been amazing to see so many people come together to ride out the crisis.
A reminder that no one’s alone.
“You can rest and be reassured that you’re not the only one going through this. You’re not alone. There are people that are with you.”
Visit the Facebook group here.
Listen to the full interview below.