Havasu Finds Its Helpers Amidst Coronavirus Crisis

In unprecedented times, Lake Havasu City is exemplifying what gives the desert oasis that endearing small-town feel. Havasu is showing it’s concern and care for its neighbors through action as hosts of businesses and devoted volunteers are implementing acts of kindness. RiverScene Magazine is highlighting many of the good deeds that aren’t going unnoticed amid the heightened tensions of today.

Look For The Helpers

Fred Roger’s, the beloved host of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood:, shared a story, years ago, about seeing frightening things on the news as a child. “My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

With a pressing need in the forefront, Havasu Covid-19 Task Force was formed to address circumstances facing our community. Havasu Covid-19 Task Force is a multi-faceted approach covering a variety of areas of need. The task force is comprised of Mayor Cal Sheehy, physicians, emergency response representatives, medical liaisons, and community members assigned to lead their respective subcommittees of expertise.  The subcommittees are: PPE, food, fundraising, cleaning and HCP.

Blessing bags are being put together by the COVID-19 Food Task Force. photo courtesy Vilma Urbina

Helping Hands

Vilma Urbina, head of the Havasu Covid-19 Food Group, is currently looking for donations of non-perishable food items for their “Blessing Bags.” Urbina said, “Our goal is 300 bags. Right now, we roughly have enough to make 200 bags.”

The Havasu Covid-19 Food Group has its own Facebook page, as do all of the committees listed above. Items that the food group needs for the Blessing Bags are listed on the site. The drop-off location for donated items is at Finney’s Restaurant at 317 Lake Havasu Ave. For those unable to go shopping, cash and gift cards are also being accepted. Bags will be ready to be handed out for pick-up Sunday at noon. With federal guidelines on social distancing in mind, bags will be handed out via a drive-up system behind Express Nutrition Health at 2036 McCulloch Blvd.

Shortages In Protective Wear

Physicians on the task force are also working hard to address shortfalls on the medical side of the current crisis. Dr. Khamranie Persaud, head of the Havasu Covid-19 HPC committee said, “There is a national shortage of many things right now to help combat this infection specifically the protective wear that the physicians, nurses, pretty much any health care worker needs.” She and other doctors in town met and decided if they united and pulled their resources  together, they could see faster and better results.

Siena Snedeker models one of the masks that she is making for Havasu’s health care industry through the Task Force. photo courtesy Siena Snedeker

This collective thinking brought about a novel idea. “I recruited a bunch of seamstresses and we worked on tons of different patterns and we have a pattern down of a mask where you can insert filters, so it simulates an n95 pretty closely.” The goal is to make 15,000 masks. As with food, they are also looking for donations of masks.

Recently, various nail techs and hair dressers have given generously to the cause.

If you would like to learn how to make these masks to help out, visit the Covid-19 Task Force PPE Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/836320223555482/

Havasu Covid-19 Task Force

Persaud is also emphasizing proper information to the public as another main focus of Havasu Covid-19 Task Force. “We’re trying to be very comprehensive and give clear data to the public to help answer questions and calm fears. But still engaging the public to help get involved, empowering everyone to make everyone feel like during this time while we’re all in quarantine, at least we’re still doing something for the community.”

The efforts of Havasu Covid-19 Task Force will continue to reassess week by week the needs of the community. For example, the focus will be on giving meals to senior citizens next week.

Behind The Scenes Generosity

Good things are happening behind the scenes in Havasu. If you follow the Facebook page Havasu Orchids and Onions, you may have seen orchids to the Boat House Grill for their delivery of food to the hospital staff, or to employees at Smith’s Food and Drug grocery store for wiping down carts for customers. There are stories on social media of younger people shopping for the elderly that can’t leave their homes.

Steve Dorr wipes down carts with disinfectant for shoppers at Smith’s Food and Drug store. RSM team photo

This spirit of generosity and thanks can be found in numerous posts across Facebook — a reminder that decency and kindness are not  lost in times of need.

Head chef at the Boathouse Grill Francine Hernandez said the restaurant sent out some food boxes to emergency room staff at Havasu Regional Medical Center Thursday.

“It was about a dozen and a half Italian subs and two of our favorite salads. …I know that they (doctors and nurses) have been busy with everything going on. Hopefully other restaurants will follow suite,” she said.

The Boat House Grill donates sandwiches to the Havasu Regional Hospital ER staff. photo courtesy Francine Hernandez

For More Information

For those  in need of a Blessing Bag for their family, drive through Sunday at noon at the rear of Express Nutrition Health at 2036 McCulloch Blvd., next to the Flying X. For more information, visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/215291589881039/

If your children need lunch, LHUSD along with Taher are offering grab and go drive-through lunches to children 18 and younger during school closure beginning March 23. For more information, call the LHUSD Child Nutrition Department 928.854.5413

And for those with kids bored at home, Milemarkers is reading books to children on their Facebook page. For more information, visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MilemarkersFUN/


2 Responses to “Havasu Finds Its Helpers Amidst Coronavirus Crisis”

  1. Avatar June says:

    Love this town. Right now I’m sewing masks for the medical teams. If everyone helps a little a lot will get done!

  2. Avatar Alpine girl says:

    So refreshing to see a positive story amidst all the negatives. If we all pulled together to help and acted with kindness instead of selfishness the world would be a better place. Thank you to all who are donating their time and resources to this community effort.

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