A collaborative emergency line has been set up for those needing information regarding COVID-19 in Washington County.
The city of Brenham and Washington County, in collaboration with Faith Mission, have created a 1-800 hotline with a focus on Neighbors Helping Neighbors.
Faith Mission serves as the volunteer disaster coordination organization in Washington County. There are currently four phones set up at The Cannery to be manned by employees of the participating organizations. Those needing information can call 1-800-845-8035 for assistance regarding COVID-19.
Common questions residents can ask are where to get tested, what are common symptoms of COVID-19, how to get food assistance or how many cases are confirmed in Washington and surrounding counties.
Faith Mission re-instituted the Neighbors Helping Neighbors program to help increase funds to the mission in this time of disaster.
A few organizations in the community have already stepped up to provide monetary assistance to Faith Mission, such as Brenham Game Changers and Del Sol Foods, which have both donated $5,000 to the organization.
“We feel it necessary to support our community during this time and in a way that will be beneficial right now,” a Del Sol Foods representative said. “We are contributing $5,000 to Faith Mission, an organization assisting with county efforts, to deliver food and supplies to those in need. We are all in this together, and pray for the health of our employees, community members, state and nation.”
“What a great partnership to make a difference,” Brenham Game Changers’ Heather Thielemann said. “Needs will be assessed, groceries will be delivered, and we can ease the financial burden felt by members of our community.”
Randy Wells, executive director of Faith Mission, is putting a focus on helping senior citizens get things they need, such as food and toiletries, when it is hard for them to fight crowded stores. He also pointed out the elderly are most susceptible to coronavirus, and is looking for volunteers to assist them.
“We want to reduce the potential community spread (of COVID-19) while not neglecting seniors,” Wells said.
The Angels in Action program is dedicated to providing grocery assistance to seniors through cyber shopping and is seeking volunteers. Duties include shopping for seniors and delivering items to their doorstep. For more information, visit faithmission.us/volunteer.
While the mission needs hands to carry out work, it also needs funds from the community to stay in operation and provide assistance to those most in need.
“We are taking a big economic hit,” Wells said.
Due to Faith Mission’s business model, only 3% of the budget comes from state and federal funding. The rest of the operations are paid for through the Higgins Branch thrift shops, The Cannery and the Candlelit Christmas Fundraiser.
Sales from the thrift shops are steadily decreasing as recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention ask citizens to practice social distancing and stay indoors.
“This is really the time where we need the support of our corporations, our churches and our citizens to be able to step in and help us and help our community. Anybody who wants to donate can go to www.faithmission.us or drop it off while they are out.”
Wells said checks can be made out to Neighbors Helping Neighbors and dropped off at Bank of Brenham, Brenham National Bank or Citizens State Bank.
“Washington County always rises to the occasion in times of crisis and perseveres,” Wells said. “Faith Mission is honored to serve our community at any capacity needed. We are thankful.”