By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
The Pacific Palisades Residents Association has curated a “Look for the Helpers” program—an initiative to match volunteers with members of the community in need of assistance amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The name of the initiative stems from Fred Rogers of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” who said, “When I was a boy, I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers, you will always find people who are helping.’”
Look for the Helpers strives to connect neighbors with an emergency volunteer “so that every household in need in the Palisades is offered support,” according to its website.
PPRA President Sarah Conner worked with PPRA’s Vice President of Community Outreach Jessica Rogers to decide the best way to help.
“We felt the community would be served with one central place of organization,” Conner explained. “We’ve created videos, an online outreach campaign to reach those who need help and Palisadians wanting to offer their help. Our program strictly follows all CDC guidelines.”
There are currently 10 board members serving as initial volunteers, but anybody over the age of 18 is invited to volunteer.
To meet CDC guidelines, volunteers can have phone conversations and connect with seniors, the immunocompromised or fellow Palisadians. Volunteers may also assist those having trouble accessing online resources by helping order prescriptions and food, as well as other essentials.
“Many of the members of our community moved here in the 1950s and still live here today,” Rogers said. “For the last decade I worked as a geriatric social worker for members of our community … Now that we are facing COVID-19, our seniors and members in high-risk households are even more isolated.
“Being of service is a way for us to feel empowered and hopeful … compassion and connection is the perfect remedy to fear and other feelings that arise in a time of uncertainty.”
PPRA is offering assistance to Palisades neighbors who reside in the Alphabet Streets, the Bluffs, Castellammare, The Highlands, The Huntington, Marquez Knolls, The Riviera, Rustic Canyon, Sunset Mesa and Pacific View Estates.
“Some seniors in our community don’t have family, or they may simply need help in getting set up in the online world,” Conner said to the Palisadian-Post. “When you’re alone and socially isolated, connection with others is vital … it’s incumbent upon all of us to help those most vulnerable and in need.”
Residents can seek assistance or sign up as a volunteer through the PPRA website at palisadesresidents.com or via email at email@example.com.
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