I'm writing to provide a current status on LEAF's services as the Covid-19 virus impacts our community. As you are aware, LEAF serves as the human service safety net in the Greater Lyons area. Our efforts are focused on meeting human service needs day-in and day-out, and even more so during this time of uncertainty and change. We are so grateful for every one of you: volunteers, donors, clients, and community members. THANK YOU.
1. Lyons Community Food Pantry continues to operate weekly on Wednesday afternoons. Our volunteers continue to make great efforts to provide needed supplemental food in ways that minimize risk to our team and to our clients.
This week, Wednesday March 25, our Food Pantry will be open from 3pm to 5pm outside the lower level of Lyons Community Church. We will continue with a "curbside drive-up" process again this week. There is no need to come early. There will be plenty of food for everyone.
The number of households served last week doubled over the number we typically serve. This is a time of uncertainty and we are aware many people are out of work. If you or someone you know lives in the Greater Lyons area and will benefit from extra food and a "socially-distanced virtual hug" and care, please come to the Food Pantry on Wednesday.
2. Meals on Wheels clients continue to receive meals. We delivered 60 meals last week and the "5 shelf-stable meals + snacks" kits to all clients. Our volunteers continue to take extra care to minimize health and well-being risks to the people we serve.
Meals on Wheels is not only for aging adults. If you or someone you know is unable to shop for or prepare at least one healthy meal per day, please consider Meals on Wheels. We provide a daily nutritious meal and a well-being check 5 days a week. The cost of the meals is based on a very generous sliding scale. Contact our program leader, Eric Andresen, to sign up or to learn more: 720-385-9878 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. LEAF's Basic Needs & Resource Matching program has received an unprecedented number of requests for help with rent and utilities in the past week. At this time, our leadership is considering the best ways to respond to these requests. Neither the Town of Lyons nor other utilities will shut off services due to Covid-19-related inability to pay. Landlords are being asked to exercise flexibility and mercy with regard to penalty fees and evictions as well and we understand Courts and law enforcement are not executing evictions at this time.
We believe help is coming for individuals and small businesses, from Federal, State, and local governments. We are asking our clients to bear with us as we all wait to understand the supports that will become available. This situation is changing daily and we at LEAF are doing our best to be informed and prepared to continue to serve well. For those we care about who are suffering: You are not alone. We will get through this, together.
4. Mental Wellness & Addiction Recovery services continue, but in new and innovative ways! LEAF's fantastic mental health therapist, Cherie Maureaux, is now leading the Life Skills group virturally, and has started to see individual clients virtually as well. This keeps everyone safe, and allows them to continue efforts at maximizing mental health.
Be on the lookout for new offerings aimed at connecting our entire community during this challenging season. They are coming soon!
Our mental health services are primarily in place for people who have been unable to access or afford mental health or addiction recovery services elsewhere. Medicaid coverage is welcome! If you or someone you know in the Greater Lyons area needs mental health support, please confidentially email Cherie at email@example.com.
Last but not least
- Our volunteers continue to operate according to best practices in order to minimize the risk to everyone. If a volunteer develops flu or cold symptoms, s/he will step out of service until health is restored.
- Collaborating with Lyons Volunteers, additional supportive efforts are under consideration as we all work together to understand new human services needs and how to meet them. Please stay tuned.
- In cooperation with several local agencies, we launched Care Calls this weekend. The goal of this program is to provide a daily social interaction and well-being check for the most at-risk members of our community. Ellen Keane is coordinating this program. If you or someone you know in the Greater Lyons area would benefit from a daily friendly and caring phone call, please email Ellen.
- If you would like to volunteer with LEAF, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will contact you as opportunities unfold
- If you can donate at this time, it is much appreciated and needed. The easiest place to give is via our website. We are truly grateful for the way the community has risen up to partner with us during this unprecedented challenge. Since we are a mostly volunteer-led organization, our costs are small and our impact is big. We can keep changing our corner of the world together! THANK YOU.
We continue to partner closely with local government and helping agencies. The health and well-being of our clients, volunteers, and community are our top priorities. It is always our honor to serve our community.
LEAF Executive Director
P.S. I'll continue to provide occasional updates to communicate changes and even things that remain the same. Please note, the best place for the most up-to-date daily information is LEAF's Facebook page.