The coronavirus pandemic can be a tough time for people needing help for basic needs and services.
Beaverton resident Karin Calde decided to do something for those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. After hearing a political commentator telling others to start organizing for those in need, she hopped on the social networking app Nextdoor in hopes of creating a neighborhood group.
Calde asked people if they would be willing to donate their time to help donate food, deliver groceries or pick up prescriptions.
Getting responses left and right, Calde decided she better create a Facebook group to manage it all. She called it "Team Beaverton."
The group now has over 400 members, added Calde.
"Then I decided I wanted to be sure to reach people who are not just on Facebook," she said. "So, I started a webpage, got an email address and then also a phone number. There are five or six people in my group who are Spanish speakers who have been helping with translations for the webpage and helping people over the phone."
The group uses a Google form to organize volunteer information and requests. So far, Calde said, they have helped about 40 people since starting the group.
"It's been easy during this really hard time to feel gratitude because of just the outpouring of support for one another and willingness to help," Calde said. "It's been a great place to create community. People are looking at this time for something to do, a way to help. This is a way for people to do that."
She added, "It's a great way for people to manage their stress levels at a time when there's so many unknowns. I think it's a great way for people to focus their energies and have something to do and be part of the solution."
Washington County resident and Team Beaverton volunteer Nupur Pande agrees with Calde's message. Pande decided to join the team after hearing about it on Nextdoor.
"I do believe in times of such distress, we should do what we can do for people who are unable to take care of themselves or impacted (by COVID-19)," said Pande. "This is something I can do on my own time. … I can keep up in touch with the neighbors and see what is needed. If there's a need, I can step in."
Pande has helped four people so far by delivering groceries or food once they request it. She has also donated food to Team Beaverton, so volunteers can distribute it as need be.
Calde said Pande is one of the team's most active volunteers and frequently raises her hand when they post a request for help. She also helps spread the word about the group whenever she can.
"My motto is that it's the least we can do," Pande said. "Somebody in the community would step up and do the same for me, you know?"
She encourages other people in the community to step up on either Nextdoor or joining a group like Team Beaverton.
"All I have to say is that this too shall pass, and we will come out of it — maybe not the same — but we will come out of it," added Pande.
Calde hopes to create and distribute fliers in the community so more people can request services from the group.
When asked about what feedback she has gotten from people she has helped, Calde said, "People are so thankful. Some people who I've helped have then been able to turn it around and help others in different ways. It's nice to see."
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