March 19, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
A local community Facebook group is mobilizing some of its 16,500-plus members to help those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens–Our Communities began forming a new volunteer sub-group last weekend as the coronavirus spread across the city and forcing people indoors.
The group hopes to run errands and deliver food to those in need throughout the pandemic as city cases continue to spike.
Nearly 4,000 coronavirus cases have now been confirmed in the city with 26 fatalities, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this morning. All essential businesses are also being closed and Governor Cuomo has declared that non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason are canceled.
Over the weekend, group founder Michael Perlman created a list of members willing to volunteer and has received a strong response.
More than 40 individual volunteers have signed up and the list continues to grow, he said.
The Forest Hills American Legion has agreed to work with the group and to make its headquarters an operations center. Plans are being drafted to use the site as a distribution center in order to deliver food and essential supplies to community members who cannot leave their homes, according to Perlman.
A student club from Vaughn College has also committed to joining the group.
“As a large Facebook group, we can help some of our neighbors We can commit good deeds that are small, while socially distancing ourselves among other precautions,” Perlman said.
Perlman has appealed for more volunteers and community groups to join and non-members are also welcome to join the group.