By Grace Aspinall:
Americans historically step up to help one another in times of public emergency.and Fairfax County is no exception.
For those who want to help during the coronavirus pandemic, the county has set up several websites to coordinate donations of money, materials and time.
Financial contributions grace the top of the list of county needs, but supplies including paper towel and face masks appear on the list along with baby formula, diapers and disposal medical gowns.
The Fairfax County Emergency website includes special information on COVID 19 and ways to help those in need at: https://fairfaxcountyemergency.wpcomstaging.com/2020/04/06/coronavirus-covid-19-donations-guidance/
The site acknowledges that many aspire to aid health workers with personal protective equipment (PPE) and thus has created plans for the safe collection and distribution of these donated supplies.
Information on what and how to donate appears on this Fairfax County webpage: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/covid19/donate-help. Donations of N95, surgical, 3D and procedural masts top the list of requested items. Other medical personnel needs include disposable medical gowns, cleaning supplies, nitrile gloves and both professional and homemade face shields.
Additionally, the county connects residents to services and resources through the Coordinated Services Planning via a call center where information for those in need can be assessed and it can be determined how they can receive aid. The web page information is located at: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/neighborhood-community-services/coordinated-services-planning
One of the non-profits highlighted in the county guidance is the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, which has launched a COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia. The website for this fund is here: https://www.cfnova.org/community-leadership/covid-19-response-fund-for-northern-virginia. This fund seeks to provide flexible funding resources for nonprofit organizations and other programs responding to COVID-19 and its impacts.
The Community Foundation’s work and funding complements public health officials and they focus their assistance on communities who are disproportionately impacted by the virus and its economic consequences. The Community Foundation works in consultation with public health officials to address the needs of the entire service area in Northern Virginia.
The Community Foundation aims their assistance to the underinsured or non-insured, low income families without resources and therefore in short term financial crisis, persons lacking sick days and who lack support while self-quarantined or have limited English speaking skills. They also focus assistance on immigrants and communities of color.
Email the Community Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org with general inquiries. Available nonprofit leaders seek to be informed of the general public viewpoints and needs via this means of communication to remain as informed and responsive as possible.
Other organizations and groups will evolve and appear as we wage the war against COVID 19, but for those who wish to donate and/or assist, this gives people a place to start.
Stay safe, keep your distance, wash your hands frequently — and help others less fortunate if you can.
Grace Aspinall is a technical writer/editor and campaigns for local, state and national Democrats in every election. She lives in Clifton and contributes a monthly blog to Her Nexx Chapter
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