Need help walking your dog, picking up prescriptions or doing the grocery shopping because you’re not feeling well?
A new Facebook group that targets the LGBT community in Wilton Manors has been created to direct help to those who need it during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Wilton Manors COVID-19 Mutual Aid” went live on March 30 to help people who are sick in isolation and need assistance, said site administrator Omar Sanabria, a former Wilton Manors resident who created the group.
“The idea was to really involve the community. Luckily we have not been engulfed by the coronavirus like New York City or Miami. This is a great time to get the word out there and really network so we can just help people,” Sanabria said. “We are hoping to increase the members.”
The Facebook group had 30 members shortly after its launch on March 30 and continues to grow.
Volunteers who can provide help do not have to reside in Wilton Manors.
The Wilton Manors COVID-19 Mutual Aid Facebook group is described as a “group where people in Wilton Manors can ask for help if they are sick or in isolation. Where people who are well and willing to help can offer. Because we can all help each other.”
Here’s how it works:
A person in need goes to the group and basically states what type of assistance they are seeking. Then Sanabria, the group’s moderator, finds someone in the group who can help.
“Things like shopping for others, cooking food, food delivery, walking a dog or simply just a friendly phone call,” Sanabria explained. “When people are isolated we are going to experience a lot of depression and anxiety.”
The site also includes a printable PDF that people can pass out in their neighborhoods, with detailed information about the Facebook group, how to join and what sort of networking assistance it can offer. The PDF includes a list of coronavirus symptoms, suggestions on when to call your doctor, when to isolate yourself, and tips on how to avoid spreading the coronavirus.
One resident posted, “Love this! I’m able to help walk dogs, pick up prescriptions or help with grocery shopping for those in need.”
Sanabria said that’s what the site is all about.
“We have two purposes: For people that need help and for people who are willing to support those who are asking for help,” Sanabria said. “I will make sure we see through the requests and that someone in the community is helping that person.”
He added, “You are basically matching the needs to local residents with the support of the community. This is not about asking for monetary donations. This is about connecting people who can help with people in need.”
To view the Facebook group, click here.