For those with disabilities and older adults, getting out for errands during normal times can be hard enough.
In a pandemic shutdown and under shelter in place orders, one Yukon area program that normally drives people to places they need to go had to be completely halted.
Although Compassionate Hands van program in Yukon and the area had been suspended due to the pandemic, it is set to resume, and volunteers will be protected with the donation of masks.
The Compassionate Hands van will once again take people in need on errands or visits to a doctor in a 30-mile radius, said Joanne Riley, Compassionate Hands director.
An Oklahoma City business that makes various outdoor lighting and electronic products, Jasco Products, has donated 250 face masks to Compassionate Hands to be used by those who ride and those who drive the van.
Jasco’s Janis Thomas of Yukon delivered the masks Friday.
“This is in hopes that it will help them and all of their clients,” Thomas said.
“Jasco is a local company that gives 50% of our profits away all the time so we are especially trying to help during this extraordinary time,” Thomas said. “One of the ways we are trying to help giving back is so far we have given away over 40,000 masks.”
She said various styles of masks have been donated for use by healthcare workers and other volunteers.
Riley said the masks are needed for the van program that assists older adults and those with disabilities. The availability of masks has been one challenge, not just the cost of the masks, Riley said.
The drivers of the van and the assistant will be able to protect themselves and others against COVID-19 by wearing the masks,’ Riley said.
“I’m very excited because we had to suspend the van program since March 20 and now we are opening back up with social distancing rules. And one of them will be that the rider and the driver will haveto wear masks,” Riley said.
Masks will be provided to those who are taken on rides by Compassionate Hands, that will take one rider at a time during the pandemic,
“I had been worried about how we were going to obtain enough masks to do everything we do for everyone,” Riley said.