COVID-19: Letter from Leah (03/18)

Friends,

First, we hope that you are healthy and well and we send you a virtual hug (because we are not hugging here right now! J) Second, thank you for the support you are showing us!

Our clients are among the most vulnerable, and we continue to ensure they are receiving meals from us. They are being told to stay in their homes indefinitely and many don’t have support systems. It is critical that we continue to be there for them.

What WE are doing at Open Arms:

  • We are doing everything we can for our clients; this week, we are sending out over 1000 emergency bags of shelf stable food in addition to regular deliveries, and distributing health and safety information.
  • We continue to be vigilant cleaning our building and we have cancelled large group gatherings in our building. All building visitors are being asked health screening questions as they walk in the door.
  • We are limiting traffic in our buildings as we can. Delivery drivers are being asked to remain outside our building and staff are bringing them client meals for delivery. We will be making additional changes to building hours and the amount of volunteers allowed in the building at once in the coming days.
  • We are adapting to a very rapidly changing situation, and you might see even more changes to our operations when you come in. We are listening to CDC and MN Dept. of Health guidelines and making tweaks to how we do things, keeping services to clients front of mind.

What we need YOU to do:

  • Please check our website and Facebook page regularly to see if we are in need of volunteers.
  • Donate. These efforts to protect and provide for our clients are costing us upwards of $20,000 (and rising) over our operating budget. If you can help by making a donation of any size, please do. https://www.openarmsmn.org/donate/
  • Cancel your shifts in advance. If you are a current volunteer, please cancel your shift in Volgistics as soon as you know that you cannot come in. If we have at least 24 hours’ notice, we can recruit someone to replace you.
  • Be mindful of your own health:
    • Volunteers who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness must stay home.  These include fever of over 100F, coughing, sneezing, and/or shortness of breath.
    • Wash hands often. Wash for 20 seconds with soap, rub between fingers and under nails; and then rinse and dry. Use alcohol (60%+) hand gel if sinks are not readily available.
    •  Practice and encourage volunteers and others to use proper coughing/sneezing etiquette. Cover mouth and nose with the crook of your arm or fully cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.
    • Avoid rubbing your eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Clean and sanitize phones, desks, tables and other surfaces frequently.

In times like these, we are struck by what an incredible community we truly have. We are so grateful for all you do.

Leah Hebert Welles
Executive Director
leah@openarmsmn.org
612-767-7344

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