Featured Story Written by Breann Lujan-Halcon
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
As coronavirus continues to disrupt nearly every aspect of everyday lives, we have seen an enormous growth of community.
While practicing safe physical distancing, Laramigos have turned to social media groups to promote local businesses, offer resources and ensure that their neighbors are taken care of.
At Ivinson, we wanted to show our support for the community that supports us. Ted Fritz, senior director of Facilities Management, with the help of our Dietary team, organized a fundraiser to do exactly that. The team organized an employee fundraiser to benefit Interfaith Good Samaritan and, last week, donated $3,805 to support the Laramie community.
“We felt that we were in a position to help,” Ted said. “Interfaith helps so many people in our community every day, providing food and assistance to anyone that needs it. We come to work every day with the same goal –to help people– and we wanted to help them.”
By selling pizzas, 50/50 raffle tickets and asking for outright donations, the dietary team spurred into action. In a two week period, they sold 85 pizzas, selling out the first week before restocking for more sales.
“Every dollar donated to Interfaith was donated from the pockets of Ivinson employees in an effort to support our community,” Ted said. “That’s what matter most in times like these, help each other and help local businesses. We are going to have to lean on each other in these tough times so that we can all come out of this stronger.”
Interfaith’s Executive Director, Mike Vercauteren, reports that the biggest impact they have seen from COVID-19 is a welcome one.
“The biggest impact is the response from the community,” Mike said. “We have so many people volunteering. A lot of people want to help, a lot of people feel compelled to help. It reflects on our community, we are lucky to be here.”
For the team at Interfaith, community need remains steady and the organization continues to pivot to meet the needs of community members while practicing safety precautions. This includes a drive up food pantry and moving many of their processes online or via telephone.
“Speaking with other nonprofits in town, there’s a consensus that people are doing what they need to be doing. People are isolating,” Mike said. “The economic repercussions are going to be a lot longer lasting than the virus. We are managing now, but with the number of people unemployed, we know it is going to increase and we are bracing for impact.”
Interfaith is anticipating the long lasting effects of COVID-19 and is preparing to find a new normal. For Mike, he hopes that the growing sense of community is something that is carried into post-coronavirus times.
“I miss normal but in a way I don’t. The way people are caring for each other and reaching out and spreading kindness – I hope we can make that the new post-pandemic normal.”
If you are interested in volunteering or lending a hand, please visit laramieinterfaith.org to find ways to get involved.