SPRINGFIELD — As families everywhere hunker down at home to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, you may wonder what’s happening to people who don’t have family to help. Perhaps you’ve wondered what’s happening with the most vulnerable members of our community, and how we can come together to help them.
One simple and effective way is by donating personal-care items to MHA’s Good to Go initiative. Good to Go collects donations of basic personal-care items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, feminine-hygiene products, and socks. MHA then provides these items to people served by the agency who are intellectually or developmentally disabled, challenged by mental health, new in their recovery from addiction, or chronically homeless.
“A member of MHA’s outreach team came into the office today and said, ‘the Good to Go inventory is getting low,’ and she was right,” said Kimberley Lee, vice president, Resource Development and Branding for MHA. “As the virus crisis continues, many individuals served by MHA’s outreach team need extra help. These are folks who are living independently, but who, because of a mental-health challenge or intellectual disability, require just a few hours a week of visits to ensure for their health and well-being. They live on their own in the community with little or no family, so MHA team members are their trusted caregivers. By supporting their very immediate need for personal-care items, we can help them stretch their tight budgets and leave them more money for food.
“Community members who may not be spending money on social activities might perhaps like to instead direct some of that savings into items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, feminine-hygiene products, and socks, so we can replenish the Good to Go inventory,” Lee continued. “We also accept donations of reading materials like books and magazines, which can help people pass the days.”
In keeping with current CDC recommendations to limit personal contact, donations should be delivered to MHA’s main office at 995 Worthington St., Springfield. Leave them by the employee entrance on the side of the building and contact Lee at (413) 233-5343 or firstname.lastname@example.org to let know her know that items have been left for Good to Go.