Crisis can reveal the value of past investments. At AHH our most precious commitments have always been in people, in those that we serve, and in those that give in the name of service. Our organization reaches beyond our current ranks of volunteers, interns, staff members, as it extends to those who established formative experiences at AHH over the past 25 years. In the previous weeks we have heard from former interns, who are now active members of their communities, responding to the spread of COVID-19 by activating their networks to help vulnerable seniors.
A former intern, Clark, and current intern Thomika, ran a food drive at their jobs, then donating items to AHH for our Stock up for Seniors campaign. Morgan, also an intern alum, called to ask how she can help older adults in her community and has begun to find ways she can assist. AHH has been receiving a flood of responses from our call to action, many individuals have signed up to deliver groceries to seniors in need. In recent days our office has received deliveries of toilet paper, non-perishable food, paper towels, and even a large package of Ensure. The support has been tremendous, and we are both grateful and humbled.
We would like to say that we are meeting every challenge in stride, but this will be a massive struggle for seniors, and for those orgs like us that are trying to establish a sustainable plan of response. We’ve stepped up to provide increased “call reassurance”, making sure we continue to talk with seniors that are alone in their homes. Many have been understanding of our new limitations, but for some it has been harder for them to take in why we can’t enter their homes or bring them out like we used to. Disappointment can be heart breaking.
Despite the tribulations of the times, we rally in the warming community support. We are continuously brainstorming to see if we can find new ways to uplift our seniors in their moment of need. Doggedly, we refuse to let go of hope, compassion, and our desire to do right by those that are vulnerable. More than anything, we continue to maintain our connections with people, which have always been and will be our strength when this crisis slides into memory, and a new day rises.