As state leaders work to stem the spread of the coronavirus, neighbors, churches, and local business owners are stepping up to help others in a time of uncertainty.
One of those is the Shoreline Church in Old Lyme, which announced on Tuesday, March 17 that it’s offering to pick up and deliver groceries, prescriptions, and other essential items to residents at risk of contracting the virus or those reluctant to go out in public to get what they need.
Shoreline Church Pastor, Michael P. Calo, known as Pastor Mike, said the church had a response team that it set up when Hurricanes Sandy and Irene blew through the Shoreline.
“When this came about and we knew it was coming here, we already had a team in place,” he said.
Their efforts cover 15 communities: Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Clinton, Chester, Deep River, Lyme, East Lyme, South Lyme, Essex, Westbrook, Niantic, Waterford, New London, Salem, and Montville.
Calo said they have a protocol in place where troops will be working in teams of two, with members gloved and masked before knocking on a door.
“If we can just leave stuff at the door, and people can leave a check, that’s fine too, we’ll do it that way,” he said. “We’ll take every precaution we can.”
Calo said that at least nine residents have answered the call for volunteers to support the initiative.
Since the announcement, Calo said most of the calls are “people who are not in dire need right now, but just wanted to make sure we’re there when we need them,” he said.
“Even if you just need someone to talk to, just give us your number and I’ll arrange for someone to call you back,” he said.
There is no charge for the services, other than reimbursement for goods picked up and delivered. Residents are not required to be members of the Shoreline Church, or any church. And services will continue until “life returns to normal,” Pastor Mike said.
To contact the church for assistance or to volunteer, email SLCwillhelp@gmail.com, or call 860-304-9853.