Community Cares Initiative providing seniors much needed supplies
A new partnership between Clackamas County and the Oregon Food Bank is delivering food, medical supplies and household items to local seniors affected by the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19.
This week, Clackamas County Sheriff's deputies and staff at the county's Health, Housing and Human Services Department put together care packages at the county's Public Safety Training Center in Clackamas. Known as the Community Cares Initiative, the boxes will go to seniors and other populations Clackamas County social services employees have identified as vulnerable as the novel coronavirus continues to spread.
The initiative began in earnest on Monday, April 6, with a team of county employees reaching out to vulnerable groups to see if they are in need of supplies. County employees are now volunteering to put together boxes tailored to those individual's or household's needs.
The Oregon Food Bank has provided everything from fresh vegetables to nonperishables to be packaged with various other items — sanitary wipes, toilet paper, shaving cream and more — to keep seniors and other vulnerable local residents safe at home.
Ryan Brown, CCSO business manager, said Clackamas County is reaching out to approximately 1,500 residents each day. Boxes are being delivered all over the county, and the program has received a warm welcome from those it's helping.
Brown said that it's evident there are a number of folks fearing about the future and their own safety. The initiative has been able to put some of those minds at ease.
"I had a delivery yesterday that was particularly meaningful, it was a 70-something son taking care of his 90-something-year-old father in Beavercreek," Brown said. "They just didn't feel comfortable leaving the house and were literally out of toilet paper. They thanked us profusely for what we're doing."
Brown said many Clackamas County employees are excited to be involved with the initiative and grateful they can do something to help the county's most vulnerable in their time of need.
"A lot of people at the county don't see the end customer of their work product, and for folks to come around this effort and take on some new tasks, they're able to connect with something that's doing some really great work," Brown said. "I've had a number of people that I've met through this in different departments that are just thrilled when their supervisors allocate them to make calls or to come pack boxes."
The sheriff's office urges local seniors to be wary of scams at this time, and notes that at no point will anyone calling from the Community Care Initiative ask for your credit card information or ask you to make any payments over the phone. Anyone who wants to make a donation to the initiative can do so with the Clackamas County Peace Officers' Benevolent Clackamas County Peace Clackamas County Peace Officer Benevolent Foundation.
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