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Want to assist in the COVID-19 crisis? Start by helping your neighbors

This group’s effort, ‘Operation Good Samaritan,’ can make all the difference

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Hands (Pexels/stock image)

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Some men and women are without jobs right now.

Some families are without child care and food.

For others, the future, simply put, is incredibly uncertain.

The current coronavirus situation, which remains a global pandemic with no end in sight, has changed the world as most of us know it.

“Our community needs us now, more than ever,” said Nina Yon, president and CEO of The Sharing Center, in Longwood.

If you’re looking to get involved or help others during this unprecedented time, it can be hard to know where to start.

Why not think local?

Start in your own region or area.

That’s where Operation Good Samaritan can help.

The operation is The Sharing Center‘s effort to respond to the current community crisis by helping Central Florida neighbors in need.

For the last 34 years, the group has dedicated its work to provide food and financial assistance to those who need it most, when they need it most.

Did you realize that nearly 40% of Seminole County families are living paycheck to paycheck?

That’s according to a recent report from Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, better known as ALICE.

And considering the pandemic, that number could rise -- and therefore, the needs of the community will be much greater than they were at the time of the report.

“We are anticipating a significant influx of our neighbors in need seeking food, financial assistance, and other essential resources in the months ahead,” Yon said.

So, what does that mean for you?

If you’re still receiving a paycheck or you have the means to assist, you could consider helping to stock the group’s virtual pantry. This lets you assist others from the comfort of your home, safely -- in a fun and interactive way. The organization will stretch your $1 donation into $30 worth of fresh produce, frozen proteins, essential resources and compassionate support.

Giving a gift is incredibly valuable, as well. In fact, every gift up to $70,000 will be matched, dollar for dollar.

“You’ll be helping to refuel those who have already lost so much,” Yon said. “(These) life-changing services are urgently needed. Together, we can alleviate the burden the coronavirus is having on our neighbors’ well-being.”