In a week, Neighbors Helping Neighbors has gone from an online social media help site, to having a physical location, and distributing donated goods to those in need.
“We have been giving out around 35 boxes of goods a day for the last four day,” said Diane Davis, the founder of the movement, on Wednesday. “I’m just amazed at how the community has come together and I’d like to thank everyone who has donated food or money.”
After praying for a way to help people during the COVID-19 social distancing alert, and the run on the grocery stores which left shelves bare of essential goods, Davis created a site on Facebook called Neighbors Helping Neighbors in Anderson County.
The social media site was developed last week with the idea that anyone can join and any member can post needs, including paper towels, milk, clothing, transportation, or babysitters.
In 24 hours, more than 1700 people had signed up to help or be helped. Now, just one week later, over 3,100 people have joined.
Davis became overwhelmed with offers to help and donations, but had no place to store the donated items. Antioch Church came to the rescue and provided a place for volunteers to store and box up donated goods for distribution.
Volunteers are now working out of The Place, located at 809 East Murchison Street in Palestine on The Antioch Church campus.
Each day volunteers hand out an array of staples that include water, toilet paper, towels, bread, children’s items like coloring books, crayons and puzzles, canned goods, meat, baby items, eggs, cleaning goods, and personal hygiene items. Availability of items is based on what has been donated, and all are while supplies last.
They have a small freezer where they can store meat and frozen items that are donated.
Davis said that Ranger Air had been a large donator, and she owned a big thank you to Interim Police Chief Mark Harcrow for helping deliver boxes of goods to those that could not make the trip to The Place.
NHNIAC will take donations of any kind, including monetary donations, in order to continue serving the public.
Davis said they have a strong need for bread, paper towels, toilet paper, and heavy duty boxes.
Find Neighbors Helping Neighbors in Anderson County on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2292287861072737.