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Neighbours helping neighbours

Tiffany, a founding member, Rose, Scott, Donna, Jessie and Amanda are just a few members of Caremongers Oshawa and Clarington, a group of volunteers aiming to help people most in need ruing the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Zachary Simmons)

By Courtney Bachar/The Oshawa Express

A local resident has stepped up to help members in his community during the pandemic.

Zachary Simmons has formed a community group of volunteers, called Care Mongers Oshawa and Clarington, with the main goal of people helping people. Volunteers are available to help those that are homebound or may need to self-isolate by getting and delivering food and supplies, collecting donations, directing people to and sharing resources, and more.

“There is a core of about 30 volunteers – callers, moderators, people in the background, drivers,” says Simmons, adding that there are about 100 people who have signed up who just want to help.

“Our volunteers are working so hard,” he says

The idea for this community network came to Simmons one evening in mid-March while sitting at home – just as the situation with COVID-19 was starting to escalate in Oshawa and across the province.

“I thought I could do something for the community,” says Simmons after speaking with his employer about reduced hours at work due to COVID-19.

“When this first started, we thought it would be a few of us going and getting groceries for people, and it blew up into so much more than that,” says Simmons.

The Care Mongers have also spread to other communities in the region with similar groups in Whitby and Ajax-Pickering.

“We’re stronger together by supporting everyone being apart,” says Simmons. “This isn’t going away anytime soon. If we can help in any way, that’s what we want to do.”

Residents in isolation and in need of some community support can call the volunteer support line at 1-888-573-0982.