By Amanda Anikstein
Since mid-January, when COVID-19 was first reported in the United States, our community has been alarmed. As the number of cases continued to rise in Asia and Europe, our worries and fear only continued to rise as well. But, with panic, comes groups of people working together to ensure the safety and comfortability of others. In our community, in the midst of all the anxiety and nervousness, Community Against COVID-19 was created.
Four juniors from Byram Hills Highschool: Gabby Ripka, Sam Lubcher, Jack Brook, and Alex Hansburg, wanted to give back to their community by creating Community Against COVID-19. The organization receives “calls from anyone who is at ‘high risk’ or just feels uncomfortable going outside their home to do their everyday chores” says Jack Brook. Then, the group gets a shopping list from whomever has called, and the volunteer will go to pick up the groceries and deliver them right to the front door of the individual. The organization does not charge any money, but they will kindly ask for a 4% additional donation fee that goes to a COVID-19 charity fund at Montefiore hospital.
Alex Hansburg says that they were “able to spread the word through social media, talking to friends, and Armonk Parents. The organization has even made an Instagram account, @communityagainstcovid19, a facebook page, and are in the process of making a website. In the bio of their accounts, there are links to sign up for volunteering, so make sure to check it out when you get a chance!
Community Against COVID-19 is not only in the town of Armonk, but it is all around Westchester County. They have delivered to Armonk, Chappaqua, Scarsdale, Briarcliff, Hartsdale and more. Gabby Ripka explains that she “got a call the other night from an 84 year old woman who didn’t even know where to begin when thinking about how to stock up at the grocery store. We sat on the phone for about an hour coming up with a list that she felt comfortable with. The next day, I was able to pick it up and deliver it to her apartment building in Hartsdale. She was so grateful that we were able to help her in such an uncertain time.”
Sam Lubcher says that he takes part in Community Against COVID-19 because of “the feeling of gratification that comes with helping others, the clarity of mind that comes with leaving the house, and the ability to continue being productive and proactive in a time where most activities have been suspended. Not to mention, it is a wonderful way to add a mark to our community.” Of course, helping the community comes with risks, but Jack Brook informs us that “we obviously take the necessary safety precautions. We wear masks and gloves at all times during an order.”
With all the craziness going through our community and the United States, we can gain a sense of calmness knowing that a group of teenagers are working together to help those in need. Thank you Community Against COVID-19!