Tools & Strategies for Fighting the Coronavirus Pandemic

 

Get Help/Give Help Resources for Faith-Based Groups

If you want any help setting up any of the steps outlined below, please send email to judi@policycatalyst.org

Otherwise, please feel free to replicate or steal anything you can use.

This “toolkit” provides a basic structure and a platform for church (or mosque or temple, etc.) members to ask for help, give help, share needed household items, or seek social support. The faith leader(s) and administrators (or dedicated volunteer or board member) should oversee the project.

Step 1. Recruit 1-2 volunteers to manage the project (one should have access to your email/phone list of members). Seek a commitment through early summer, with possible extension in the fall.

Step 2. With faith leader, decide on the parameters of the project. For example, Chavurah B’Yachad, a Salt Lake-based Reconstructionist Jewish congregation, is modelling 4 levels of participation (5 if we count virtual services like sabbaths):

  1. Ask for help

  2. Give help

  3. Get or give social support (phone calls to check in with people who live alone, which is not easy).

  4. Share or sell needed items (ex: toilet paper or hand sanitizer) from storage or pantry. 
     

Step 3 Prepare mailing list and outreach communications.  You can use a CRM database like Constant Contact or MailChimp or a simple listserv. 

 

  • Keep an eye on missing or incorrect emails. Members without email or with infrequent use of their email are more likely to need help.

  • Email bounces need to be followed up with phone calls or texts. This will also improve deliverability of future emails.
     

Step 4 Email (or send regular mail for those who don’t have email or make outreach calls) out the announcement and sign up form. See this sample email for members https://conta.cc/3blDLh8 (the links or buttons to Google SignUp Forms are there only as examples). 

 

  • ALSO: Prepare to announce the opportunity at any virtual services or gatherings.  You can also include the announcement and form links in any member e-newsletters.

  • VERY IMPORTANT: explain the safety parameters (this is outlined in the sample email). Everyone stays safe. All deliveries are to be dropped off and all involved need to keep 6 feet of distance. No home visitation. Provide volunteers with hand sanitizer and have them wear gloves and masks if possible.

 

Step 5 Monitor (daily) the Google sign up Forms and process results. Try to match families needing help with those offering help by proximity. The idea is to make this do-able and sustainable for all. For large numbers of either, you can map the addresses using GoogleMaps: https://www.google.com/maps/about/mymaps/ (software for making your own layered maps).

 

Step 6 Follow up at regular intervals to make sure all is working and to fill any gaps.

Step 7 Thank all involved.

Steps 8-X Repeat steps above as needed. My congregation is sending out the notice about every 2 weeks.

With blessings to you and your congregants,

Judi Hilman

Policy Catalyst

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