By Kathy Brown.
It is a surreal time for many: online learning, online work, layoffs, empty shelves in the toilet paper department, quarantines. But even with all of that, there are many ways that our Haddam-Killingworth community is coming together to help each other, to help others, and to make people smile.
There are several people in both towns making masks for healthcare workers at local hospitals and nursing homes, who are running out of supplies. The pattern that Yale New Haven Hospital requests for masks can be found HERE. The pattern that Middlesex Health requests for mask covers can be found HERE.
Kate Novick of Killingworth is making masks. “Our healthcare professionals and first responders need masks ASAP. These handmade masks are being provided only because proper personal protective equipment supplies are not available. These home made masks are better than nothing and they express our collective gratitude to the heroes of the moment as our overarching systems are failing us.” People have donated 122 masks in Killingworth so far.
Tara McCarthy is making them in Haddam. So far she has made 20, but her goal is 100. “One of my mantras is no one can do everything but we all can do something. I don’t know how to make ventilators but I do sew and I’m happy to step in when I can and help others.”
The request from Haddam Social Services can be found HERE.
If you would like to make masks, the pattern links are above. There is a collection box at the Killingworth Town Hall (inside the back door) and at Haddam Social Services.
Teddy Bear Hunt
Someone saw it on Facebook, and they told their friends, and they told their friends . . . Beth Durning shared the Teddy Bear Hunt on “You Live in Higganum if…” Facebook page. And people in our community are now putting teddy bears in the windows of their homes so that kids can go for rides in their parents’ car and look for the teddy bears in town. When I went out to get groceries for my elderly father last week, my daughter wanted to go and stay in the car just to be able to look out a “different window” so sometimes just a different view is needed every once in a while, while maintaining social distancing rules.
There is a Facebook group called “Teddy Bear Hunt” where you can see teddy bears all over the world in windows (in case you don’t want to take your kids for a drive).
Easter Egg Hunt
Another Facebook idea that is making the rounds is a ride-around “Easter Egg Hunt.” Rebecca Drew shared an idea on the Killingworth Stompin’ Ground Facebook page: Make a colored egg on paper, attach it to your mailbox in a plastic bag (so that it isn’t affected by the weather). This is for kids who are missing their neighborhood or church or community Easter Egg hunts because of the quarantine, so they can take a ride in the car, and find the Easter Eggs in the neighborhood or town.
The template can be found here: https://pin.it/59Zrfe9 if you want to participate. Make your egg colorful!
Gifts for Healthcare Staff
Jen Favalora spearheaded the idea of sending a basket of chocolates to the staff at Middlesex Hospital because one of her neighbors works at the ICU, and she knew that it was a stressful time for them.
She posted the idea on Facebook. Seven other people joined in and donated money. And they used a local company, “Oh Fudge and More,” owned by Bridget Marshall of Haddam, who individually wrapped each treat for extra safety.
Paying it Forward
Some people have bought Family Breakfast Trays from the Copper Skillet restaurant in Killingworth, and then posted on Facebook that they were available, in case some families were struggling. The Blashke family went one step further. They donated $3000 to two restaurants in Higganum, and then Dino’s added another $1000, to pay for meals for families in need. They have made it a Community Challenge to help others.
To read more about this effort and see how you can help, or how you can access the help, see THIS article.
Many people, including me and my children, have been cleaning up the roadsides on walks to get some fresh air during this quarantine. If you’re going on a walk, bring a bag or two with you and clean up a stretch of road. Post to social media to inspire others in the community to do it as well.
In Haddam, St. Peter’s Church held a drive-through Food Drive on March 28 to collect food for the Haddam Food Bank.
In Killingworth, the Killingworth Lions Club has set up a food drive to occur on Recycle Way on March 31, April 2, 4, 7, 9, 11 to collect non-perishable food items for the Helping Hands Food Pantry and the HK Backpack program. They are looking for fruit cups/canned fruit, soup, canned meat, milk, pancake mix, oatmeal, mayonnaise, maple syrup, jelly, toilet paper, and soap, among other things.
Residents Donating PPE
Heidi Giaccone, resident of Killingworth, found some R95 masks in her house, and donated them to the Killingworth Ambulance Association. For more information, see THIS article.
In her March 30, 2020 “Killingworth Copes” email, Killingworth First Selectman Cathy Iino, said, “Although the Yale New Haven Health System does not normally accept donations of supplies and equipment, severe shortages in the face of COVID-19 have led the hospitals to seek donations of:
- Disposable Head Covers/Caps
- Disposable Gowns
- Disposable Gloves
- N95 Respirator Face Masks
- Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPRs)
- Disposable Face Masks
- Disinfection Wipes & Liquids
- General Purpose Hand Cleansers