ERIE, Pa. – “Help the Helpers,” a joint initiative of the City of Erie, Hamot Health Foundation, and UPMC Hamot, encourages the community to recognize and look for ways to support “the helpers” and each other, such as picking up a gallon of milk, offering to walk a dog, or making food for your neighbor. During times of crisis, Erieites remember the advice of Mister Rogers to look for the helpers.
“Help the Helpers” invites our community to show support to health care workers, as well as grocery clerks, pharmacists, garbage collectors, and delivery drivers, all of whom perform essential roles to keep our communities running. A phone call to a neighbor, a card to an isolated elderly person, an offer to order groceries, donation of protective equipment, or handmade face masks, can all contribute to our community caring for each other.
“There are volunteers and every day citizens doing their best to support one another through a very difficult time. We are encouraging all of these ‘helpers’ to be recognized for building and strengthening our community,” Mayor Joe Schember said. “For everyone’s safety and to lower the likelihood of exposure to or spreading of COVID-19, you should always follow the social distancing and self-isolation recommendations when engaging in any of these activities.”
Window signs of support, social media frames, and sharing personal stories of how we are supporting each other are keys to this initiative. Community members are encouraged to share their HELP THE HELPERS stories with the hashtag #HELPTHEHELPERS. Window signs and social frames can be downloaded at UPMCHamot.org/HELPTHEHELPERS. A window sign will also be available in Sunday’s Erie Times News.
“At the Hamot Health Foundation we have been reaching out to as many helpers that we can find and demonstrating our support,” said Charles “Boo” Hagerty, foundation president. “Whether it’s sending meals to hard working community members, encouraging people to donate blood, supporting the Erie Playhouse in reimagining their costume shop to make cloth masks, or just passing out snacks to our front line workers at the hospital, we see these as just small examples of what everyone can do to show their appreciation, thanks and support.”
“The community response and support to our UPMC Hamot staff is extraordinary and heart-warming. Hundreds of caring people and organizations have offered their supplies, their help, and their encouragement,” said David Gibbons, president, UPMC Hamot. “These simple actions are making all the difference, allowing first responders and care teams to meet our mission of providing outstanding patient care during this difficult time.”