Source: pixabay

Source: pixabay

“Leave a message and someone will call you back right away”: Help offered through Creston COVID Support

Services provided by the group are free and confidential, which includes grocery pickup and delivery, medicine pickup, mental health phone support and more

It was the second week of March in 2020 when Velle Huscroft Weitman had made plans to take her kids skiing down in the United States for spring break.

But like most spring break plans last year, Weitman too had to scrap her family outing due to the emergence of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

With spring break torpedoed and vacation plans swapped with lockdown measures, Weitman said that she felt the need to do some good in town and help others navigate uncharted waters.

“I saw this need — people were needing things and they had nobody to call,” she said. “I felt that there was a lot of hysteria, especially for seniors, and not a lot of action. I thought that I could step up, I can do this.”

She would end up joining the Creston COVID Support group — which was created by Tracy McKee that same month — as one of the group’s administrators and the head phone dispatch operator.

“There were all these people who needed groceries — they were quarantining, coming back from the States,” said Weitman. “We had an insurmountable amount of people coming, like Snowbirds coming from the States not sure what to do.”

In addition to Snowbirds and people quarantining, Weitman said that dispatch was caring for a number of residents at Crest View Village.

“(Crest View) didn’t have a plan in place for residents to get groceries,” she said.

Before the Town of Creston offered a dispatch line that the group could use to fulfill services, Weitman was using her home landline to operate the 24/7 dispatch line. There are five other dispatch operators in rotation, and in the springtime, she said that dispatch would receive anywhere from two to 100 calls per week.

“I would get a phone call and then I would go to a list of volunteers, and then dispatch volunteers to go out and shop or pick up these necessary items people needed,” she said.

Around 100 locals came on board and volunteered their help as the pandemic ensued.

Services provided by the group are free and confidential. They include grocery shopping, grocery pickup and delivery, medicine pickup, mental health phone support, agency referrals, emergency funding, personal protective equipment (PPE) and pet food and general supplies.

“It’s all local people helping out. We are actually rather slow right now, so it seems like people’s needs have been met,” said Weitman.

READ MORE: Creston resident uses 3D printing to create face shields and ear savers for community

She added that the dispatch line now averages one phone call per week, but requests are still monitored 24 hours a day. There are still 75 to 100 volunteers ready to help, she noted.

“Leave a message and someone will call you back right away,” she said.

Anyone needing services from the group can contact them by calling 250-428-8651, or emailing crestonbcmutualaid@gmail.com. You can also find the group on Facebook by searching Creston COVID Support.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: aaron.hemens@crestonvalleyadvance.ca


@aaron_hemens
aaron.hemens@crestonvalleyadvance.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Andre Robert won $500,000 through a Lotto Extra ticket on Dec. 23, 2020. Photo: Jeanne d’Arc Allard
Creston resident wins $500k through Lotto ticket

“I was surprised. I wasn’t sure if it was true or not.”

Pioneer Arena is closing for the season. Photo: John Boivin
Castlegar’s Pioneer Arena and Nelson Civic Centre closing for season

RDCK is closing the ice at two of its arenas due to financial concerns related to COVID-19

A juvenile sturgeon in a B.C. rearing facility. The wild population in the Upper Columbia is estimated at 1,100 individuals, enhanced with roughly 5,500 hatchery fish. (file photo)
B.C.’s Upper Columbia sturgeon endure long battle with local extinction

Decades of monitoring and intervention is ongoing to save the prehistoric fish

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

A Polyphemus cocoon. Photo: Ed McMackin
Out There: Wrapped Up for the Winter

“Probably, one of the most intricate works done for winter is completed by some species of moths that spend the winter in the pupa stage — the stage between larva and adult — enclosed in a protective covering.”

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read