Greetings, we hope this finds you and your loved ones in good health. As this crisis unfolds one thing is clear, the need for us to come together as a community and foster a caring culture of mutual aid is crucial in keeping each other safe and saving lives. We’ve said it before, but we are heartened by all the ways we see our rural community pulling together to lend a helping hand. Let’s keep it up!
How to get involved!
Marshall Mutual Aid Hub
We are excited to announce that we now have a space in Marshall to gather and deliver food and other necessities to folks in Madison County who are unable to leave the house to shop. The hub is located on the Madison County Cooperative Extension Office property at the far end of the parking lot next to the little greenhouse, 258 Carolina Lane, Marshall. We will be accepting donations of food, household cleaning supplies, baby formula, diapers, toilet paper, trash bags and ziploc bags on Tuesdays from 5-7pm and Saturdays from 12-2pm. If you want to donate perishable foods, please get in touch first (email@example.com // 615-628-7439) and we’ll let you know if we can take them. We are looking for donations/long term loans of folding tables, shelves, refrigerators and freezers, too. We need to maintain strict hygiene inside the distro space; please do not enter unless asked to. Knock on the door and someone will come outside to meet you.
Sign Up for Saturday Food Deliveries
We will be doing weekly food deliveries on Saturdays. If you are signing up to deliver food, you will need to be able to pick it up from us between 12 and 2pm on Saturday. We will go over safe handling protocol ahead of time. If you have hand sanitizer, please bring it; if not we can provide you with some. The Madison County “stay at home” order allows for individuals to deliver food and supplies to others so you will not be violating any laws by volunteering. We can provide you with volunteer documentation if you would like to have that on hand. If you are available this Saturday, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
If you would like to volunteer and haven’t already filled out the form, please do so, this is the best way for us to keep track of your information: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfTmu0qwgqgRv7ksvGerdc3kqr5WYpgD07evlCtbhkHq0NUAw/viewform?usp=sf_link
We need money!
Some of you have indicated in that you are able to make a monetary donation so we can continue buying necessary supplies. We can make your dollar go a lot further than it will at the grocery store through bulk purchasing and arrangements we have with supportive businesses. Thank you for anyone who is able to donate at this time!:
Organize within your local neighborhood
We strongly encourage you to get organized on the neighborhood level. Nobody knows better than you and your neighbors what your immediate community needs are. The more you are in communication with each other the more you will be able to help each other meet those needs. To start we suggest that you reach out to 10, 15, 20 of your neighbors (and yes we know a Madison County neighbor may be miles away) to check up on them and how they are doing. Print out a stack of this resource list which contains our hotline and other local resources and drop them in mailboxes or porches. Or email it along to those you can.
Once you’ve made contact, figure out a way that all of you can stay in touch. Creating a group text loop, Facebook group, phone tree or email listserv are all possibilities for staying in touch. Whatever mode of communication you choose, there will probably be a few folks who can’t participate in that mode. If that is the case, use the buddy system to keep those who can’t receive a text (for example) stay in the loop. Once you have a communication line up and running you can begin sharing information with each other on what needs you have, and what resources and skills you have to share. If you would like further advice and mentoring on neighborhood organizing please reach out to us and we can talk it over with you further.
Cooperate WNC has this guide as one potential model for neighborhood organizing. It also has some helpful tips for starting dialogue with your neighbors.
The stark reality we face right now is that for many of us, if we get sick, we may well not have access to professional medical care to help us get better. With that in mind we will be sharing health resources from sources we believe to be reputable to help us better prepare for riding this out if access to professional medical help is not an option. A few resources:
Homemade Hand Sanitizer (based on WHO standards) (note: these recipes call for vegetable glycerine which should be available at drug stores and online)