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Wyoming Communities Step Up Support Efforts in Pandemic

Wyoming residents are helping neighbors most at risk for COVID-10 by delivering groceries and shoveling springtime snow. (Oddharmonic/Flickr)
Wyoming residents are helping neighbors most at risk for COVID-10 by delivering groceries and shoveling springtime snow. (Oddharmonic/Flickr)
April 2, 2020

LARAMIE, Wyo. -- Wyoming residents are responding to life under the COVID-19 pandemic by stepping up to help neighbors, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Micah Richardson with the Wyoming Community Foundation says it's important to help the state's nonprofit groups continue to provide health care, food for struggling families, child care and more.

"People are recognizing that things are not the same, that things have drastically changed, that we need to take care of each other and adapt as best we can to support our communities," she states.

More than 70% of Wyoming nonprofit organizations have experienced, or expect to experience, a disruption of service to clients and the community, according to a recent Wyoming Nonprofit Network survey.

Richardson says many groups that rely on older volunteers are now short of help. To find a volunteer opportunity near you, she suggests checking online at www.volunteerwyoming.org.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there currently is no evidence of coronavirus transmission associated with food.

Richardson says ordering delivery or pickup, or purchasing gift cards for later use, can help independent restaurants weather the crisis.

She also points to groups popping up on social media with offers to help neighbors more vulnerable to infection by picking up prescription medicines or shoveling new rounds of springtime snow.

"Delivering groceries for populations that are a little more vulnerable, so those that are older or have some health issues already," Richardson states. "Just the small things like that where you can support each other while keeping that social distance."

Richardson says one immediate way to help nonprofits is by donating to the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, recently opened by her group.

The foundation also is encouraging nonprofits to apply for both short-term and long-term assistance through its annual unrestricted endowment fund

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - WY