Due to the COVID-19 virus, there has been a huge increase in the need for all sorts of assistance. The Lyons Emergency & Assistance Fund (LEAF) is here providing a human services safety net. LEAF is now creatively adjusting its programs to help meet the surge in demand for services. Thankfully, there has also been a corresponding increase in the number of caring volunteers who want to help.
Food and “How are you?”
Before the pandemic, at-risk folks who are unable to shop or prepare adequate meals had hot meals delivered each day via Meals On Wheels. That delivery also included a wellness check. Now, partly to help protect the volunteers, clients receive a weekly porch drop-off of frozen meals provided by restaurants in Longmont, along with a box of nutritious snacks and groceries. On Mondays, St. Vrain Market has continued providing its fresh sandwiches or soup.
For a daily wellness check, all those around town who have requested it receive a daily “care call” from a volunteer. It’s a great way to connect to others in a time of isolation.
The weekly Lyons Community Food Pantry continues, but now with curbside service. Volunteers box up food and supplies in advance according to household size. The Food Pantry is open on Wednesdays from 3pm to 5pm outside Lyons Community Church at 350 West Main Street for all who need it. It has been a huge challenge for the Food Pantry to locate food because the usual food sources are overwhelmed by need. Creative volunteers have managed to find food and supplies to share. St. Vrain Market has been especially helpful donating hard-to-find food.
As an additional service, there are kind volunteers willing to grocery shop and run errands to help out those who are unable or too vulnerable to go out in public. If you are in need of this service, please complete a Work Request Form through LEAF’s newest partner, Lyons Volunteers.
Recognizing a need for more mental health services, LEAF’s mental health therapist, Cherie Maureaux, has started weekly online community meetings using the online Zoom platform. Maureaux leads a fast-paced and fun 45 minutes every Thursday at 2:00pm. Check LEAF’s website or Facebook page for the link to attend this healthy and helpful free opportunity. Ages 12 and up are welcome to join. Maureaux also continues to meet with people for individual counseling using a telemedicine online video model. Those who could benefit from competent and caring mental health support can confidentially email her to learn more. Medicaid coverage is welcome, and nobody is turned away for an inability to pay.
Rent and bills
Since the onset of COVID-19, LEAF has received an unprecedented number of requests for help with rent, utilities, and other bills. Thanks to the incredible generosity of so many, the LEAF Basic Needs & Resource Matching program has dramatically increased the Basic Needs budget for the next three months, offering a total of $40,000 in Basic Needs 2020 grants to help residents remain independent and in their homes. To learn more about Basic Needs 2020 Grants, email email@example.com.
Lyons-based realtor Laura Levy of Coldwell Banker has teamed up with LEAF and Shauna Lee to create a Gig Grant Relief Fund for Lyons artists and musicians who have lost much of their work due to the stay-at-home orders and business closures. For more information and to donate: https://www.facebook.com/donate/337526077225485/
LEAF relies on individual donations along with financial partners like Lyons Community Foundation and Community Foundation Boulder County to help meet needs in the most effective ways. Donations are especially needed now.
● To donate to LEAF: https://tinyurl.com/LEAFdonation
● To donate to the Gig Grant Relief Fund for Lyons Artists & Musicians, visit: https://www.facebook.com/donate/337526077225485/
● To volunteer with LEAF, email firstname.lastname@example.org
● For the Lyons Community Food Pantry, email email@example.com
● For Meals on Wheels, contact Eric Andresen, firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-385-9878
● For Basic Needs 2020 grant information or “Care Calls,” email Ellen: email@example.com
● For Mental Wellness & Addiction Recovery support, confidentially email Cherie Maureaux: firstname.lastname@example.org
● For Lyons Volunteers help, visit their website.
Follow LEAF on Facebook or visit: www.leaflyons.org