MONROE, CT — Residents making homemade masks and cloth face coverings to comply with Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, now have the option of helping others in need.
First Selectman Ken Kellogg says donations can be placed in a drop off box in front of the Monroe Senior Center at 235 Cutlers Farm Road.
“This is for our seniors or people who may not have the ability to make their own,” Kellogg said. “While making one for themselves, residents may want to make an extra one for someone else.”
Kellogg said the town website has a link for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s instructions and videos showing how to make a face mask with the sew and no-sew method.
As social distancing drags on, many people have lost their jobs and more families are struggling to make ends meet. The first selectman set up a donation page on the town’s website to make it easier to donate to local assistance programs.
Donations can be made to Monroe Community and Social Services, the Monroe Food Pantry, Project Warmth, the Monroe Volunteer Emergency Medical Service, the Monroe Community and Emergency Response Team, and to any of the town’s COVID-19 response efforts.
Kellogg and Henna Ali, director of community and social services, said demand for public assistance programs is up.
“We have, to date, received over $3,500 in donations,” Kellogg said Monday. “I’m extremely grateful to our residents for their generosity.”
On Tuesday, The Monroe Lions Club and its affiliate, Monroe Lions Charities, gave donations of $4,000 to the Monroe Food Pantry and $1,000 to Operation Warmth, in addition to its annual support.
“There is an increase in donations to Project Warmth and the Monroe Food Pantry,” Ali said. “It has been great to see that support.”
During the pandemic, Monroe Social and Community Services continues oversee assistance programs like the Monroe Food Pantry and Project Warmth, as well as handling requests for counseling.
Ali said she and her staff have been able to handle everything that has come their way. The department works out of the Monroe Senior Center.
“We’re here if you need anything. Please give us a call,” Ali said. “They have to call beforehand. If we can assist them telephonically, great. If they need to fill out forms, they have make an appointment to come in.”
“They’ve been very busy,” Kellogg said of the increased workload for Ali and her staff. “They’re doing a great job.”