Mesa County is a community of doers, helpers, and fixers. Many of you have joined our volunteer team to answer phones and staff our COVID-19 testing site, and for that we are grateful! Many others have demonstrated support for our community through your willingness to wear masks, to limit or avoid travel, and through the simple act of staying home if you are feeling unwell. Thank you for doing your part and coming alongside us in a time of need. It has made a difference, and as a result we were recently approved to enter the Protect Our Neighbors phase of reopening.
Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) has received so much support from the community, yet generous local residents continue to ask how else they can help, what else they can give, to assist our community during the pandemic. If you’d like to lend a helping hand, here are a few ideas to consider:
Volunteer: If you are passionate about an issue, chances are there’s an organization dedicated to the same issue that would benefit from your time. Consider our community’s nonprofits (Western Colorado 211 is a great place to do some research), then reach out to one that appeals to you to find out how you can be helpful. Many of the typical volunteer duties have changed due to the implementation of safe social distancing, so check in through a phone call or an email before you show up. MCPH has also been putting volunteers to work – If you’re interested in helping our team, please call 970-248-6900 to get connected.
Donate Financially: As revenues have decreased so have many organizations’ bottom lines, which has forced some nonprofits to make tough choices. If you are fortunate enough to be in a position to support your favorite organizations financially, do so! Your contribution will help ensure important local services and supports continue.
Donate Resources: Many organizations count on donated items to help the populations they serve, whether it be homeless individuals, youth, children in foster care, or older adults. Items like canned goods, coats, socks, laptops and bicycles can be a huge blessing. Again, reach out to a nonprofit whose mission you feel passionate about and inquire what items they need before you donate. Consider organizing a collection drive to make a bigger impact if you’re able.
Donate Blood: Blood donations are always needed because blood has a limited shelf life. St. Mary’s Regional Blood Center encourages donors to call 970-298-2555 or visit their online scheduling site to make an appointment for a local blood donation.
If you would like to donate blood plasma to help COVID-19 patients recover through convalescent plasma treatment, you must have had a confirmed positive test for coronavirus and be fully recovered. Contact 303.813.5230 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to be screened for eligibility.
Offer Food Assistance: With employment and school disruptions related to the pandemic, food insecurity has followed. Many individuals and families who were able to meet their needs in the past are struggling, and those who have experienced hunger previously may be having an even more difficult time now. If you think a neighbor or acquaintance might not have enough to eat, delivering a meal (home-cooked or not!) or an anonymous grocery gift card may be more impactful than you could ever know. Western Colorado 211 updates their list of local food assistance opportunities regularly – you can find it here.
Support Mental Health: The stress and anxiety surrounding COVID-19 has had an impact on the mental health and wellbeing of many Mesa County residents. Mind Springs Health, in addition to their regular behavioral health services, offers Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training to help equip community members with the tools to recognize the signs of a mental health crisis and the skills to respond. If you are interested in completing a MHFA training, check out the calendar here. Courses to help support both adults and youth are offered free of charge multiple times throughout the year.
Maintain Vigilance: There are many ways to lend a hand, and we hope these ideas have helped you consider how your time, talents, and resources may best be put to use. However you choose to do your part, we ask that you not lose sight of the critical effectiveness of the simple, everyday actions that have gotten us to the Protect our Neighbors stage: Keep your distance, wear a mask, and wash your hands.
Thanks for being in this with us. We are grateful to serve a community of incredible people who give back in meaningful ways every day!