A Westby couple has started a COVID-19 high risk assistance network to connect those who are most vulnerable with community members who can help them.
Gil and Aaron Aslin established the Viroqua/Westby/Cashton Area COVID/Corona Virus Volunteer Network Facebook group Saturday morning.
The Aslins said the mission is to provide services such as grocery shopping and errands for people who could be most at risk if exposed to COVID-19.
As of Monday afternoon, Aaron said more than 900 people had joined to provide services.
“We’ve had a lot of good support,” he said. “Our intent is to keep those at risk at home by delivering such things as groceries and medicine.”
Aaron said several people have offered meal-making, while others have offered nursing care, school lunch support for children, and handyman services around the house.
“The sole purpose at work is to keep people (healthy and safe),” he said.
Aaron said the Facebook group is still in its early stages, and so far there haven’t been requests for needed support.
The Aslins said they understand many people in the community may not have access or knowledge of social media to connect with the Facebook group, so they hope those who are savvy with social media let their friends, neighbors and loved ones know about the group and help them connect with the services volunteers are providing.
The network is for those living in Viroqua, Westby, Cashton, La Farge and Coon Valley.
Gil said they want to encourage other towns to form their own COVID-19 high risk assistance networks. “We encourage others to reach out to their neighbors.”
The Aslins and their two children are new to the area. They moved to Westby from the West Coast nine months ago. She’s a registered nurse and he works in marketing at Organic Valley.
“We are completely excited about the support (the Facebook group) has had in a scary time,” Aaron said. “We are positive we’ll get through this as a community.”
Gil said she’s been “blown away” by the tight community they’ve experienced. “To see that come into play is amazing.”
The link to the Facebook group is https://m.facebook.com/groups/497422457802601/?ref=group_browse
Angela Cina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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