By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
A crowd-sourcing kindness initiative that exploded in popularity during the early days of the stay-home order, is not going away any time soon.
Pandemic Partners, the Facebook group that quickly amassed nearly 12,000 followers in the early days of the health scare is evolving as Central Oregon gradually reopens.
“Our goal from the beginning is to be a place where neighbors help neighbors. We’ve evolved to a place where we are crowdsourcing kindness so that neighbors can help neighbors and we can advocate for the most vulnerable in our community,” said Morgan Schmidt, Pandemic Partner leader.
The Pandemic Partners Facebook page where people ask for help, and others who are able to respond, has fulfilled nearly 400 requests for assistance.
People asked for, and received, everything from food, to masks to technical support.
And now, as local communities gradually reopen, Schmidt sees the role of Pandemic Partners shifting to keep up with current events.
“Everybody’s going to want to have a mask like this for going out in public, I hope. Everyone should wear one,” Schmidt said. “How do we resource the community for folks to figure out where to buy these or where to get them for free if they can’t afford them.”
Schmidt says people are still welcome to post requests for help on Pandemic Partners, or call a newly established helpline (541-668-6117).
“As we roll into Phase One, I think Pandemic Partners and myself, personally, have a responsibility to continue offering really solid information,” she said. “What are local authorities and medical professionals saying? What are rules, laws and recommendations? What are best practices?”
The community crowdsourcing kindness initiative provided by Pandemic Partners may continue indefinitely. Organizers say that’s because there will always be some people who need information and support during uncertain times.